Photo provided by flaivoloka.
Developing the creative senses of a child, as well as the confidence to create are important, and sometimes undervalued, aspects of childhood development. In a culture currently obsessed with standardized testing ,creative development is easily lost through the cracks. While loads of money have been made on flashcards designed to enhance children’s memorization of notable works of art and famous artists, they have little, if anything, to do with creative development. The true benefits in children being exposed to fine art are being able to discuss the art and to get inspiration for their own, new works of art. Talking with children about the colors (by name, tone, or intensity), the feeling (“I feel far away when I look at this.”), the lines and texture, or other aspects of art, when talking about their own creations as well as more widely known works, does far more to develop a child’s creativity than do meaningless identification drills.
Children also need the time, materials, and freedom to explore and create with a variety of tools (brushes, rollers, combs) and media (paint, dough, paper). In these activities, the process of experimenting and creating is far more important than the end result.
While visual arts are often the first to come to mind when creative development is mentioned, they are but one component. In addition to the visual arts, creativity finds an outlet in music and movement, and dramatic play.
Creativity is also at work in more academic subjects as an integral part of language, the scientific process, and social problem solving- driving inquiry and creating a flexibility in thinking, allowing children to devise new and unique solutions.
Where do you sit on the Spectrum of Preschool Arts and Crafts?