Sunday, July 31, 2011

Creative expression through art

A really amazing teacher/ friend of mine taught me about allowing children to pursue their dreams and explore their imaginations in creative chaos, what an amazing concept! And it’s oh so much better to actually see it in action :)

Creative expression is so important for all children, especially when there is a language barrier. Whether they are a toddler or have communication delays, you will learn so much about each individual through their creative expression! This concept is so important for educators who have children who need them to be their advocates. You can use this concept with almost every activity, but my favorite is using art with creative expression.

Provide children with many different options with these activities. If you’re going to have a painting activity provide them with brushes, sponges, stamps, sticks, tape, cotton balls etc. let the child make the choice on what materials they would like to use, it changes day to day! If they want to use their fingers and glob a whole bunch of paint on the floor, it’s ok! The last thing you want to do is make them feel like they are doing something wrong while they are in the middle of creating a master piece from the heart.

It’s always safe to keep your distance and be an observer in these activities, be there when they need you…but don’t tell them what to do or how to do it. If they are ever stuck you could ask them to create something that makes them happy, a special memory, family, pets etc. this works with all crafting activities too, so don’t limit them.

If you have a class or play group, encourage them to all make something different; discouraged children can break your heart. When my son was in preschool he never wanted to make the same exact picture as the rest of his table and was always told what he was doing was wrong…it takes a lot to pick that creative spirit back up once an adult has told them to put it away.

If they color outside of the lines, so what! Maybe they see something that you don’t :) just yesterday my mom and I were driving to the beach with my little ones and my son kept asking if we could see the cloud that looked like a flamingo and to my mom the same cloud looked like a genie and to me… it really looked like a scary creature! So from there it was obvious that everyone has their own creative ability to see something miraculous! Encourage it because if it goes unused it can be lost forever. There is never going to be a good reason why all children should be the same, they shouldn’t be conformed into the perfect child. They should be proud of who they are and what they have to offer. <3

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