The Art center is a place filled with materials that children can enjoy on a purely sensory level. Here children can create and represent their ideas in a visual form. On a table or floor, at an easel or a workbench, children draw, paint, knead, cut, glue, and make things of their own choosing. Sometimes they simply explore the materials and enjoy the process. At other times they create design or make something that represents a real object, place or living thing.
Social-Emotional-Art is a vehicle for children to express their ideas and feelings. Children reflect their thoughts and emotions through their choices of color, texture and media. For example, when happy or excited, a child might use bright colors. When sad or upset, a child may choose darker tones. Children also express their originality and individuality in their art. Who says the pumpkins they paint have to be orange? A child may prefer having a purple one simple because it will stand out better in a patch.
Physical-Art involves fine-motor skills. As children tear paper for a collage or use scissors to cut, they refine small muscle movement. Making lines and shapes with markers and crayons or hitting a nail on the head with a hammer are activities that help children develop the fine motor control they need for writing.
Language-Children often talk about what they are doing and respond to questions about their creations as they engage in art. Teachers can write down what children say about their artwork as a permanent record of the experience. Art also fosters vocabulary development as children learn to use related technical vocabulary: sculpture, palette, and clamp to name just a few terms.
Cognitive-Children draw, paint and sculpt what they want. As they translate their ideas and feelings into art, they use thinking skills to plan, organize, select media and represent their impressions. When children draw, paint and make collages, they experiment with color, lines, shapes and sizes. Using paints, fabrics and woodworking tools they make choices, try ideas, plan and experiment. They learn about cause and effect when they mix colors. Through trial and error, they learn how to balance mobiles and weave yarn.
Ingredients: 1 cup white glue, 1 cup liquid starch, 3 drops food coloring
Equipment: Plastic mixing bowl, wooden spoon, storage containers
Method: 1. Pour glue and food coloring into bowl. 2. Stir to mix in color. 3. Add starch gradually, mixing vigorously. 4. Stir until mixture is the consistency of putty.