Real Art for Real Children

We grown-ups provide the time, the space, the materials, and the atmosphere needed to create the wonderful works of art that only children can create. In valuing a child’s first artistic attempts, however, we should appreciate the beauty of the color and design rather than worry about the finished product.

Real art for real children is:

  • Personal. Art can be as simple as colors representing a pretty day or as complex as a series of lines which express a sad feeling. It is important that each idea be developed by the child without adult preconceptions.
  • Spontaneous. Always be ready for that creative moment!
  • Inventive. Children need to have access to a variety of materials. Some art masters paint with egg yolks, mash berries for color, and use sticks for brushes. Experiment!
  • Imaginative. Cows can be purple, tears gray with glitter. The moon really can smile, and mommies can have six arms.
  • Unique. An original idea, combined with imaginative expression and materials of the child’s choice, encourages ownership and a positive sense of self-esteem. No two works of art look the same when young children are the artists.
  • Therapeutic. Art provides children with the means to gain control over their feelings. A completed creative work establishes feelings of self-satisfaction and self-confidence.
  • Fun. Whether kids concentrate alone or work in a shared creative group, a positive, enthusiastic atmosphere of enjoyment is essential!

Family Friendly Communication for Early Childhood Programs
National Education for the Education of Young Children
Deborah Diffily and Kathy Morrison, editors; 1996; pg. 37

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