Arts Education Wednesday

Today begins a new blog series, written by Rachel Johnston, a fiber artist in Ruston, LA. Rachel teaches early childhood arts classes at Creative Journey Studio. She will be posting each Wednesday. Hello everyone!

I’m Rachel Johnston, and I teach developmental art classes for preschoolers. Jessica has given me the opportunity to write about this, so once a week I’ll be sharing my thoughts on early childhood art, along with some great project ideas that you can try out with the kids in your life.

artstour2012 020artstour2012 038

Today I’d like to talk about making messes. My classes are messy. Often at the end of class we’re cleaning paint off the table, the floor, our arms, and sometimes our hair. The same goes for glue, clay, and many other supplies. I am not only okay with this mess, I encourage it. Messy art is developmentally important for young children. Through these sensory experiences, they learn much more than they would if I simply handed them a coloring book and crayons. They are free to explore their creativity without worrying about staying in the lines or making sure everything is the “right” color. Allowing children to make messy art gives them freedom to express themselves more fully. At this age, the process is much more important to them than the end result. They benefit from the experience of feeling different textures, seeing colors mix, and figuring out what happens when they try new techniques and materials.

If you’d like to give your child more opportunities to make a mess, a big roll of brown paper is great for easy clean up. These can be found at most home improvement stores for around $10, where they are sold as carpenter’s paper. You can cover a table or floor with this paper (masking tape helps it stay in place) to give your child a space to be messy. They can also paint directly on it to make really awesome wrapping paper.

Until next week, Rachel