I recently sent out this information, along with the Art is Smart page shown below, out via my Facebook page (I also print physical copies and distribute in cubbies so no one misses it) to my child care/preschool families about Mother Goose Time art. There are some changes to their program, this year, especially in the art activities. They are definitely good changes! I want my families to understand them. Some parents may never question or notice any difference, however, it is one way I can educate parents on the importance of art and the methods I use as professional. And yes, I want them to know I’m taking this job of caring for and educating their children seriously – I am a professional.
Art is Smart
Why so much art in Early Childhood Education?
There is a definite purpose to art activities in early childhood. Sure it’s fun and keeps the little ones busy, but beyond that? Art involves the development of the whole child. There are social-emotional benefits, strong focus on fine motor skills, tells us about the child’s abilities to self-direct and builds knowledge through sensory exploration of materials.
Benefits of Art in Early Childhood
- Art in Early Childhood: Curriculum Connections
- Value of Both Process and Product Art in Early Childhood
- The Art of Creating
- The importance of creative arts in early childhood classrooms
Make & Play//Product Art
You may notice our art activities are structured a bit differently this year. Sometimes we have a “Make & Play” prop which is more like a craft. The object we make is used to play and pretend with. This type of project may require more of my assistance to create. That’s okay because the end goal isn’t necessarily art.
Invitations to Create//Process Art
Other times we have “Invitations to Create”. I will set out supplies and materials for the kids to use how they wish. There will be a photo for *inspiration*. We are not necessarily trying to make what the picture shows. Some of the children will make something that resembles the inspiration photo. Others will simply explore the materials or the process.
Setting up an Invitation to Create
Invitations to Create can still be a group time activity. It can also be set up as a free choice activity where one or two participate at a time.
On one project, E spent his time cutting yarn. This is his interest because that’s where he is developmentally.
He is all about learning to cut. His paper had one or two pieces of tissue paper on it. It didn’t look like a quilt but then he wasn’t trying to make one. He was cutting.
If you look at the owl babies inspired art, you may say “they don’t look like owls” and it’s true. But what they did make was inspired by the colors and textures of the owl! In my eyes they created beautiful art!
The Invitations to Create allow for more creativity, critical thinking, and decision-making. It allows for individuality and exploration. It focuses more on the process than the product. Each child’s work will look different. So far I am loving this approach to art! The kids are enjoying it too. We want to get away from “I can’t do it” “Mine doesn’t look like that” “I don’t know how” and let them create!
More Resources for Mother Goose Time Art
Read All About Art! on Mother Goose Time’s website for more information and videos about their art program.
- What Am I Supposed to Make?
- How Are Others Implementing Invitations to Create?
- Benefits of Process and Product Art
- Art for All Ages
- Self-Exploring Through Unguided Art
- What Are Make & Play Projects?