We Are Artistic Children Living in Artistic Times

I woke up one Saturday morning to chaos… the whole living room floor was filled with cardboard, paint, scissors, glue – all over my new floor…. my ten year old daughter was making what we call as adults “a lot of mess”. I asked her why she was creating so much mess around her. Her answer was “I am being creative mummy”.

Don’t we all wish to have creative, independent, innovated and self-confident children? Being a mum and an educator led me to believe that as parents we should, as much as possible with the right state of mind, observe our children and allow these creative processes to evolve naturally. If we are successful in protecting them from the stereotypes of how they “should be” we will have a much better chance of allowing their own personality to emerge and develop.

Creativity is inspired from an inner feeling almost an urge. Once we provide our children with the time and space and allow them to follow these creative urges without interfering, we are showing them that their creativity is valued.

From a very young age, children are naturally curious, they are fascinated with textures and objects. Constructing a tower by joining blocks, playing with their food while eating, building a home from an empty cardboard box; these are the beginnings of a child’s creative development. At a later stage, their imagination develops and they combine more complicated processes, for example by creating models, baking or cooking. When children reach the pre-school age and early infant school, they are less and less exposed to arts and creative activities as the educational focus is turned more towards maths, language and literacy.

When we think of making arts and creativity more accessible to young children, we can see how it has an over encompassing advantageous effect on all areas of their development.

By allowing children to independently engage in arts and model building, while exposing them to various materials, we teach them to make their own choices, take risks, be innovative, independent and confident, which are all parts of our main targets for them. They use their thinking skills for planning and choosing the tools and models they wish to create. We instil within them an approach of “I can do that”. On an emotional level, it also develops problem solving skills.

The children’s motor skills are also developing remarkably when engaged in arts activities. Fine motor skills, often involving effective hand grip, at times needs to be soft and at times slightly stronger for mark making, cutting with scissors or gluing.

When children do art in a group, language and perception of language occurs. Children learn new vocabulary, social skills such as turn taking, negotiating, collaboration, elaborating on their work and at times following simple instructions.

Through all the above we acknowledge the many benefits of exposing children to art and allowing them to express themselves through art. Art also allows us, educators, to observe and record the children’s growth in so many aspects of their development.

A couple of tips you can adapt at home:

1. Put together an “art area” in your home. Stock it with a variety of tools and materials: crayons, markers, finger paint, scissors, pastels, watercolours, brushes, glues, papers of various sizes and textures, intriguing found objects, leftovers from your own home improvements, boxes and containers of all sizes.

2. Save old costumes for dress-up fun. Add to the collection with clothing you no longer need: hats, scarves, purses and shoes. Use items you can find inexpensively at car boot sales or charity shops. When you read to your children, be dramatic. Act out stories with props and costumes. Encourage them to create their own stories to act out for you.

Bring the artist in you to create a harmonious balance in your children’s lives. Enjoy the time spent with your children in creating art together, it will be remembered forever.

Read more post by Keren’s Nursery here.

Kerens Nursery is based in Holland Park and is one of three Ofsted OUTSTANDING nurseries, owned and directed with passion by husband and wife team, Keren & Assaf Ben-Ezra. They share with us some interesting facts on how to boost the creativity inside every child. You can read more about the nursery here.