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Following along from updating our creative space, today we’re reflecting on and discussing art materials. I’ve spoken about art materials for children before.
Before we start, have you watched Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk on Creativity? If you have, but it’s been a while, please re-watch it. If not, do yourself a favour and watch it. Just watch it.
OK, are you back? Inspiring right? The most significant part for me is the emphasis on creativity for the success of our child’s unpredictable future. Of course, there are many different types of creativity (music, dance, drama, etc), but I think that early experiences with art paves the way for creativity.
Now, I have some important questions for you:
- What emphasis do you place on creativity within your home?
- What quality are the art materials that you give your child/ren?
- How do you present them? Are they accessible?
- If possible, do you have a dedicated space to create?
- Do the materials and the creative environment make you want to create?
- How often do you present creative experiences?
- How do you present the experiences?
- Do you encourage new and different ways of using the art materials you have regularly?
Art is a daily occurrence in our home. However, as Cameron is getting older, I am watching him grow far beyond the process. Lucy, of course, is in the thick of process art and providing unique and meaningful opportunities to create is fairly simple at this stage.
However, Cameron – at 4 years old, has a need for direction and meaningful creative opportunities that pertain to his interests.
Obviously, creativity holds importance in our home. To me, it’s important to give my children quality art materials as often as I’m able. Similarly, given my Montessori influence, I am mindful of how accessible they are. This was the main reason and driving force behind our new creative space.
It is important to also present art experiences in an inviting and engaging way by offering provoking items that relate to what your child is interested in. Some ideas for provoking items include:
- other related artworks by others (paintings, sculptures, drawings, mixed media works for example)
- story or picture books related to their interests
- photos of your child playing with something related to their interest
- a documentary related to their interest, if available
- a related app on digital media
- informative books related to their interests
- play scene (play mat, backdrop, etc) related to their interest
- previous works by your child that are related
Creativity becomes more visible when adults try to be more attentive to the cognitive processes of children than to the results they achieve in various fields of doing and understanding. – Loris Malaguzzi
- Set up a simple art experience, including something provoking relating to your child’s interests.
- Observe and reflect on their art experience – How do they engage with the materials? What do they say? Can they easily access the materials they needed? What questions does it provoke? How engaged are they? What can you do to help guide them?
- Record and reflect on your findings.
- Consider how you can extend on their exploration and on the work that they create.