I have always enjoyed drawing and art in general. When I was a child, my mom made sure that I had the opportunity to express my creativity through art experiences. Whether it was creating masterpieces with crayons and paper or sculpting farm animals with play dough, art was always part of my childhood.
As a Kindergarten teacher, mom understood important benefits of art in early development.
- By holding paintbrushes and learning how to control paint, crayons, scissors, and other art tools, children gain the fine muscle and eye-hand coordination skills necessary for later writing activities.
- By using different sized shapes, mixing colors, and talking about their artwork, children can make connections to math, science, and language.
As a parent I want to share my love of art with my children, and in doing so, my four-year-old son has loved art experiences since he was a toddler. When he was younger, we used pudding painting, bath crayons, large crayons, and no-mess markers. Around the age of two he picked up a pair of kid-friendly scissors, and to this day one of his favorite activities is to “cut” scrap paper – old magazines, newspapers, junk mail, etc. I truly believe that his early experiences with art gave him the fine motor skills necessary to help him to hold a pencil correctly and use scissors like a pro at preschool. I will admit that I am comfortable having “messes” in my house and willing to allow young children to have scissors; however, I know that not all parents are. I urge you to try it and let your child have these memorable moments. Put a table cloth on the table for messy art time. Give your child a pile of scrap paper and allow him to color, cut and create to his heart’s content. You can set boundaries and still allow your child to have fun exploring art.
A couple of years ago, Hank’s grandparents gave him a plastic tub with paper, scissors, tape, rulers, and markers as a Christmas gift. That was his favorite gift, which he continues to use on a regular basis, and now he has several designated boxes in his room just for his creative streak – – a scrap paper/cutting box, a sticker box, crayon box, marker box, and supply box with scissors and other accessories. He also has a table and trashcan where he can create his projects. This is his area where he is in charge of what he does and has the ability to express his independence in a safe way.
You too can create an art exploration box for your child with a plastic basket filled with all types of kid-friendly supplies, many that are available at the dollar store or around the house (such as empty paper towel tubes and old magazines). Have a designated space where your child can use the basket, and let her create whatever she wants, mess and all.
Have a Great Week!