Thursday, 7 July 2011

Benefits of Teaching Art to Preschoolers

Teaching art with preschoolers has many benefits and offers them a fun, hands-on way to explore, learn, and develop.

Art and craft projects offer children an opportunity to express emotions, creativity, and imagination. Additionally, these hands-on activities can foster a sense of achievement. The use of markers, crayons, paintbrushes, and even scissors help to improve small motor skills and develop hand-eye coordination.

Art and craft projects can be a cross curriculum activity; giving concrete learning to conceptual teaching. Art related vocabulary: As projects introduce different techniques and activities; there is also opportunity for the introduction of new vocabulary such as: texture, collage, and pattern.

Learning colors is a preschool focus. Experimenting with primary colors to create secondary colors is fun, hands-on science. A sample of how art reinforces science would be if you were teaching about polar bears, you could offer a coloring page. You could introduce texture to the project by having your preschooler tear a paper towel to glue on as the snow-covered ground, add a layer of wax paper to be the ice, cut out the polar bear and glue it on.

Basic, geometric and three-dimensional shapes, size, patterns, and sequence all incorporate math. A shape art project enables preschoolers to see that art can be easy; it is just a matter of putting shapes together to create a picture. Nature is full of patterns: animals, plants, rocks water, and clouds, all offer wonderful patterns for exploring. A study of patterns would be an easy cross curriculum theme, incorporating, science, math and art.

When teaching art with preschoolers appeal to their senses. It is important to provide an array of different materials. Offer opportunities to experience different textures; incorporate items like: wax paper, yarn, dried pasta, and nature items: pebbles, and sticks into projects.

Offer a variety of mediums. In addition to crayons offer; washable markers, colored pencils,and paints. Appeal to the sense of smell with scented play dough and markers. Open ended projects allow preschoolers more opportunities to express their imagination, creativity and also more opportunities for them to make their own choices.

Encourage sharing time; this fosters vocabulary, and communication skills. If necessary use prompting questions, let your preschooler tell you what the picture is, who is in it, and what is taking place. Comments like "I like the colors you used" or "I see a pattern in your art" are encouraging statements without imputing your ideas of what the picture is. This way they receive affirmation without influencing their imagination.

Displaying a child's work reinforces their sense of accomplishment. It demonstrates to them that you consider what they do as important; fostering their sense of value. So buy a nice frame and display your young artist's work at the office or decorate the fridge.

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