August 2019 Newsletter – Art Experiences for Young Children


   Many of our classrooms are exploring Art in August in preparation for our annual Stepping Up Day Art Show. You, too, can create an art space for your child with basic materials such as paper, crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, chalk and clay. For sculpture and collage work, you can add glue, contact paper, fabrics, foil, wood pieces or natural materials. Almost anything can be used for painting, including brushes, sponges, spray bottles, tubes, string, hands, feet and whole bodies. Children also love using “found materials” in their art, such as sticks, leaves, rocks, seeds and anything else they pick up.

   Language that inspires children to create art includes open ended questions (“What do you want to tell me about that?”), specific observations (“I can see you combined green and blue here”) or “I wonder” comments (“I wonder what you will add next?”).  Directing children to produce someone else’s idea or to replicate someone else’s art can lead them to believe their own work is not “good enough.” Encouraging children to tell their own stories and express their own ideas is what leads them to want to create.

   Summer is a wonderful time to explore art with your child, as outdoor spaces tend to inspire larger, messier, nature-inspired creations. Branches, rocks and sand can be used for all kinds of structures. Leaves, grass, seeds and flower petals make interesting collages. Water sprayed onto any surface, with or without paint, can produce all kinds of interesting results. The children will appreciate the outdoor time as well.

   Please ask your child’s teachers about projects they have done. You can also see Cathy Weisman Topal and Lella Gandini’s Beautiful Stuff: Learning with Found Materials, Ann Pelo’s The Language of Art or Gavin Andrews’ 500 Kids Art Ideas.

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