I came across this great article from earlychildhoodnew.com and it had me at hello.
Creative Art Activities Promote Development
The article starts off with an example of a young boy who drew a picture for his mother. His excitement to show his mother his picture of buttercups was met by "what is it?" and a critique of what color he used.
Reading the example you can feel the disappointment of the little boy. But how many times do we often critique our own children's art work? I know I've used the "what is it?" question.
The article explains the importance of the process of art work over the final product for young children. A beautiful painting is not the goal for a child but rather to express, explore, experiment and be creative.
A great alternative to the "what is it question?" might be "can you tell me about your art work?". This will not only show your child you are interested and place value in their artwork, it will also let you connect with them in a dialogue about their work.
The article goes on to discuss art promoting creativity, self- confidence, and how art teaches task analysis. It outlines the stages of art development from 2-6 years old:
- Ages 2 -3--scribbling. All children, regardless of their culture, make the same markings, in the same way at approximately the same age.
- Ages 2-4--scribbles take shape and look like circles, ovals, squares, triangles and crosses.
- Ages 3-5--children begin to make designs from the shapes they have been drawing.
- Ages 4-5--designs take on the form of people
- Age 5-6--children are at the pictorial stage
I found it interesting regardless of their culture children make the same markings, in the same way at the approx. the same age. Talk about a universal language!
The creative art, article, ends with saying creative art isn't for a specific time it should be a part of your child's everyday. They included art materials list, art activity ideas and even recipes for play dough.
So what's stopping you connect with your child and EXPLORE ART!