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Art Studio

remembrance-day-art

To go with the song I posted yesterday, “Do You Know Where I Find Peace?”, we made peace symbol necklaces.

I photocopied peace symbols on to cardstock that were approximately half a page in size.  I sat at a table that had 4 chairs so we could do this in small groups.  The children coloured them in bright colours and then painted over top of them with glitter paint (you can also use glitter glue). Once they were dry, the children cut them out.  This helped them with their scissor skills. 

I then punched a hole in the top, added some yarn, and now the children can wear their peace symbol necklaces while they sing the song!

sunflowers

Last Spring, our class planted sunflower seeds.  The Senior Kindergarten students who returned this fall were very excited to see how much the flowers grew over the Summer.  They asked if we could take them inside, so we cut a dozen of them, and put them in water in our room.  Our children have talked about little else the past few days. 

Yesterday, there were 5 children drawing at our art centre.  I sat with them and asked what they were creating.  Each of them were trying to draw what the sunflowers looked like. 

Today, I went in a few minutes early and set out brown, yellow and green construction paper at the art centre table.  I also set out scissors, glue and sunflower seeds.  At the art easel, I changed the paint to brown, yellow and green.  When the children came in, they saw what I had set up and were very excited.  Most of the students chose the free art centre during free play time today.

Tomorrow, I will set up seed sorting and counting activities at our math centre.

the-importance-of-creativity

When people think of setting up an art activity for children, they generally think about planning a “craft”.  However, young children need “free art”, instead of the usual craft idea adults think of.

What is “free art”?  It is simply setting out a few art materials, and allowing a child to pick which materials they would like to use and how to use them.  For example, on a table you could set up paper, glue, scissors, feathers, markers, and google eyes.  Simply sit with the child, and allow the child to use these materials to create a piece of art.  If you show a child a pre-made picture of a bird, and that child cannot recreate the bird, the child will feel as if their art is a failure and it will affect the child’s self-esteem.  Whereas, if you allow the child to create freely and simply sit and enjoy the child’s process of creation, the child will feel a sense of accomplishment once he/she has completed the activity.  It becomes a learning experience about the process, not the end product.  It also allows for the child to make their own choices (where to put supplies, what colour to use, etc…), use their imagination, express their emotions and ideas, problem-solve and manifest abstract ideas.

At home, parents can create an art opportunity easily.  To protect your furniture, put a garbage bag on top of the table.  Use an old shirt to protect your child’s clothing.  Visit a dollar store to stock up on open-ended art supplies.  Then, you can simply enjoy watching your child create.

In a classroom, having a shelving unit full of art supplies (glue, crayons, paper, scissors, etc…) allows students to create freely and by choice.

This has been an area of focus for us. We moved this space to be close to the windows so that the natural light could shine into the studio.

the-art-studio

We added a new shelf for our clear bins of creative materials. The clear bins allow the children to make independent choices. They will be filled with the collections of an assortment of found materials that children will bring in. Just like we did at the end of last year, we have planned for the children to work with the materials without fastening or gluing any of them down right away. We realized that this allowed for more experimentation and creativity. Last year we just had an easel in the centre so this whole area is different now. We are going to talk with the children about sorting materials and giving them places to save their work so they can return and continue working. We used folders and are storing them on the shelf.

We will include a sample in a future blog.

We were inspired by the book Beautiful Stuff – Lela Gandidni