Have you noticed the huge smile on the beaming face of your preschooler when he or she presents you with a card they made at their school or a pot they had painted in craft hour? Art and craft have a major role to play in developing a preschooler’s learning curve.
I have found that the preschool years are the years when the personality traits of your child are defined. Although it seems like a small part of the preschool curriculum, art and craft play a major role in shaping your child’s behavior pattern. The reasons are many and interlinked.
Linking imagination with creativity
Tamanna Ahuja a preschool counselor with a decade of experience says – “In my long counseling career I have found that art and craft open the door to a child’s imagination. The free hand that the child gets in art classes lets him or her use their sensory and motor skills to great advantage. Structured coloring teaches the child a certain discipline. Staying within boundaries is a good way to inculcate a sense of restraint and helps children conform to the regular structure of school.”
While I agree to Tamanna and her point of view, I can’t help but ask – aren’t we forgetting about the importance of unstructured and unfettered coloring and drawing activities that a preschool offers our young learners? The freedom to doodle gives us an insight into how the child’s mind works. The random doodles are your child’s initiation in problem-solving skills. The early learners are generally not conscious about their creations and are just drawing or coloring what they like. If they feel that they have made a ‘mistake’ they will have a propensity for correcting their ‘mistake’. In the process, their finer motor skills are honed.
Preschoolers thoroughly enjoy the art sessions as they also are a social and play activity for them. The young learners love to share dabbles with their classmates and teachers and they bask in their appreciation. This leads to an increase in the confidence level of children and they feel a sense of achievement. I had always found that my child used to come back calmer and more receptive after an art and craft sessions at his play school franchise.
How art and craft promotes individuality?
Preschools are now embracing natural ingredients to set up art and craft classes. When I had enrolled my child in QualityKG accredited preschool with first-rate preschool development programs I had high expectations, suffice to say my expectations were not just met they were exceeded. I have found my child coming back with painted pine cones, leaves or coloured sand in an adhesive backed card, or an ornament made out of coloured dough. This is important as children learn to appreciate beauty in everyday articles. This is also a good way to unleash their creativity.
These days, the best preschools are evolving into natural child-centric educational institutions where children are encouraged to be unique. Art and craft are necessary to make the child recognize his or her individuality. The natural arrangements and composition that your junior Picasso puts together can help them with myriad activities like project making, painting or other creative pursuits in the future.
What preschools should do to promote creativity?
A preschool that follows preschool accreditation standards would know how to foster creativity and artistic ability in young learners. A good preschool development program knows that art should not be micromanaged. Also, the preschools should endeavor to not to give incessant directions to the child or represent a set symbol to copy from. Be ready to clean up messes as some spills and splashes are bound to occur while the process is on! Let the child choose his or her own material of choice. Never draw along with the child; it curbs their creativity and free expression. And last but not the least, do appreciate the effort. Even if the mango looks like an orange, give them a thumbs up, you never know if you have encouraged another MONET or DA VINCI in the making!