Art, and all the hundred languages that make up art, truly can be a powerful vehicle for children to make meaning of the world around them. Through art, (process-based art and project-inspired art) children can ask questions, explore new ways of working and thinking, draw conclusions, solve problems, nut out ideas and come to new understandings.
“You are walking as a family and see a brightly coloured rainbow. You talk about the colours you can see and wonder aloud, asking,
How did that rainbow get up into the sky?
Later at home, you remind your child about the experience of seeing the rainbow:
Where do we see rainbows? When do we see rainbows?
How do you think the rainbow gets into the sky?
You listen to your child’s theories and ideas and accept them, even if they are different from the scientific facts you know about rainbows. You invite your child to draw (or paint or collage) his idea of how a rainbow gets into the sky.
This is different from inviting him to simply draw or paint a rainbow. By observing and talking with your child as he draws, you gain further insight into what he already knows about rainbows.
This places you in the best possible to support him in the process of using a creative material to communicate his own theories and understanding, and to support future learning about the topic.
The experience can then be used as a prompt to learn more about the science of rainbows, maybe with a visit to the library for books to guide further research.
This process may feel unusual to your child at first, but repeated opportunities will help him to see that art is a useful way of sharing his ideas.”
~ Christie Burnett , Time to Create
This wonderful book really is about first experiences into art, learning about the materials and exploring them completely. Christie talks about delving into art with your toddler or preschooler, choosing the right activities for your child and encouraging reluctant artists.
Time to Create is full of art activities for toddlers and preschoolers; hands-on art explorations which encourage children to really interact with the material. The book includes ideas for:
- digital photography and
- natural materials
I like art books. We have quite the collection. I like having the book there for me to flick through for inspiration. I like thinking about Jack and Sarah’s interests and seeing which activities would help them explore those interests further. Time to Create is that type of book; full of activities which are engaging on their own but can also be used as a platform to investigate other topics or concepts.
I really recommend you take a look.