Creative Art Rules!


I have continued to get feedback for my blog entry a couple of months ago about disliking coloring books or pre-printed pages. I have been told there is a time and a place, but I’m still not on board with using such creativity-killing materials. I was reminded again this weekend when I was watching my grandchildren paint with tempera paint cakes. I watched the process unfold as I have many times. Creating their own pictures allow children to:
– develop organizational skills
– test experimentation skills
– explore decision-making skills
– be supported in creativity
Children that are immersed in these types of activities jump right into the project when they see what materials are available. Compare these children to those who wait to be encouraged and to see what the adult wants them to do. There is no comparison. Children who can organize, experiment, make decisions and create will always be more successful. They have the ability to think. Thinking is a good thing!
For some great creative activities, check out the following blog:
Art and Creativity.

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10 responses

  1. I still agree with you 100%. I observed in a program just today where a worksheet was being used to trace letters at one table, and at another table, free choice art was taking place.One group was dutifully tracing "D" over and over. The other group had children drawing happy faces and asking how to spell "happy," children making detailed pictures of flowers and writing "To Mom From…." and such.Gee, which group learned more today about writing?

  2. I also agree — what's sad though, is that parents want to see a "thing" that their child has done.It's very frustrating when *I* know that children learn best through creative arts, yet parents want a cute little piece of art that can be hung on the wall and recognized by everyone.Regardless, the children in my care still scribble and cut and paste and learn and explore and make fantastical creations of "nothings"!!

  3. I also agree 100%. Your blog confirms the theory that young children learn through meaningful experiences. I am a kindergarten teacher and I see this happening everyday. My students remember what was discussed only when there is some sort of hands on experience, may it be an art activity, song or body movements.

  4. Hi John! I know you've had tons of U of U students, so I don't expect you to remember me, but I just want to let you know how much of an impact you've had on me! I just finished the ECE Cohort and I will be working at Channing Hall (a charter school in Draper) as a First Grade teacher this upcoming year. Your classes helped me get to where I am today. I was glad I found your blog again so I can use you as a resource. I wish I could take your Children's Lit class again 🙂 Hope things are going well, and thanks for everything you do for ECE!Desi Burdette Wright

  5. I completely agree with the idea that worksheets are completely counterproductive when trying to encourage creativity. I believe in process art inside of product.I currently teach an art class for 15 month olds to 3 yrs. called Messy Fingers. I have designed the class around providing various materials and art mediums each week for the children to explore at their own pace with their parent(s). I have 3 tables set up with different "activities", a sensory table and 2 art easels each week. It still surprises me how many parents do the childs artwork for them because they want the "cow the be black with white spots". I believe parents as well as eduators get hung up on the end result and do not think to look at all that is going during the activity. If they did they would truly see how their child is growing and learning.

  6. I agree that pre printed stuff can be suppressive to the emerging creativity in young children, yet I beleive that tracing and writing alphabets and numbers can be very beneficial for fine motor skill development. Play based learning should be merged with academically motivated standards in order for children to absorb concepts taught, since they can be very open to incoming information.Looking at foriegn standards, I feel our kids here in the U.S. are burdened with too much academically at the middle school age, which leaves them struggling. I feel academics, pencil and paper activities and exposure to a reading and writing atmosphere should start since preschool years, which can be taken hand in hand with a play based and practical environment.

  7. I to believe that color books and pre-printed worksheets have no place in early childhood, children need the freedom to use thier imagination and create on thier own.

  8. There is nothing worse to me as a teacher than a child painting a picture, unrecognizable, but they name what it is, and then we show it to their parents with great pride and they give you one of those fake smiles and say "oooh ok", like it is not a good picture if it is unrecognizable. Those children probably are not getting the recognition for their abstract work as they would with parent pleasing artwork. If only parents would understand like us early childhood educators do! 🙂

  9. I love using art as a tool for early education!

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