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