Art Attack

Art Attack

Do you remember that show? It was really good. There are so many good art ideas that you can do at home now there is really no excuse.

Being creative is about making new things, taking risks, experimenting, coming up with new ideas, solving problems and coping with uncertainty. Creative play, both indoors and outdoors, not only helps foster these skills but can also assist with emotional development and social interaction. It can promote aesthetic awareness and be an avenue for self-expression.

Young children learn and develop through:

  • exploring and experimenting in sensory and play-based activities;
  • expressing their ideas, extending their originality of thought;
  • sharing art with adults’ that encourage and support their creativity;
  • exploring natural and man-made materials;
  • experiment with colour, shape, pattern and texture;  

Adults promote learning by:

  • valuing the children’s natural curiosity and vivid imaginations;
  • providing opportunities to stimulate creativity;
  • providing opportunities for children to develop the skill of observation;
  • teaching children to appreciate their own work;
  • teaching children to respect the work of others; 
  • helping children to take risks, to have confidence to try things out, and to accept that their ideas may not necessarily work;
  • celebrating uniqueness of each child’s work;
  • emphasising the process of creating, rather than the finished product

Ways to promote art at home:

  • Provide a creative space that children can return to at different times to complete or alter their work. This could be a desk or easel in their bedroom or a spare room. This could be a box of resources to be kept and used outside in the garden. Set up what works for you.
  • Make a range of good quality materials, media and tools freely accessible to the children and adding to or changing these over time. Provide them with a box, a drawer or a pencil case for pencils, pens, crayons, a tub for chalk or pastels. 
  • Prepare a paint area for them to mix their own colours, squeeze their own paint and choose different sizes of brushes. Explore colours and textures, for example by mixing paints and with sand, glitter or glue. Paint on different surfaces like card, fabric or wood. Set aside a specific time during your week to paint and create together. 
  • Create pictures by printing using everyday objects, blow / bubble painting, using wax resist or experimenting with shaving foam.
  • Allow children to choose their own activities and implement their own ideas. Encourage them when they are at a loose end, to access their art materials and create something – some children will need a prompt for example, a bed for a sleepy dinosaur, other children will be able to come up with something you couldn’t even dream of lol!
  • Provide opportunities to work indoors and outdoors, at times creating ‘temporary pictures’ from loose materials such as stones, sticks, feathers, beads, buttons, shells, cutlery, cups, saucers etc.
  • Investigate different ways of joining materials, including different sorts of glue, tape and staples, elastic bands and paper clips;
  • Value the work of the children by displaying it attractively. This could be on the fridge door, in a scrapbook, in a frame or take a photo of their work to keep their art collection in a digital album. 

Information taken from The Northern Ireland Preschool Curricular Guidance and adapted for our nursery home-school links.

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