15 Aug 2011
Part 7 of many.
Tharini, this is for you. What now seems like ages ago, I promised you that I will do a post on setting up an art space for children. Months passed and you have already created an art space for the boys….Better late than never and never to break promises….so here it goes.
Let us begin with the basic premises:
– It is the process, not the product.
– You are aware of your child’s age, capabilities and interests.
Age: Which means that your very young child will not have a sense of boundary. Provide her with a big canvas. Do not give her a 8 X 11 and expect her to create within it.
Interest: Some children do not like wet paint. It does not make them any less of an artist.
In my opinion for children age 2yrs – 6yrs, the popular art activities are play dough, cutting, pasting, crayons, wet paint, shaving cream, stamping. I have two or three variations of these in my art shelf and keep rotating them. A simple change paves way for new creative energy. Some typical things I rotate are
Week1 – Play dough + roller and cookie cutter
Week2 – Play dough + moulds
Week3 – Playdough + extruder
Wet paint variations
Week1 – finger painting
Week2 – brushes
Week3 – spin art
Week4 – liquid water color
Regarding colors, there are philosophies about what we must give children. Montessori believes in starting with one color at a time, because the children must enjoy the process – fluidity of paint, hand eye coordination, brush control and learn their boundaries. Giving them too many colors distracts them from the process. The second step would be to give them the primary colors ONLY and let them create the secondary colors. Waldorf believes in chunky crayons in all colors and emphasizes pastels in their environment. So pick something practical that would work for you.
I knocked off the doors of a dining nook, which gave me two decent sized shelves. To organize, I picked up four file trays from IKEA. Right next to the shelves I placed our IKEA easel. Voila, our art space. Now some pictures for you.
One side printed paper, some collage material I find interesting, paper grocer bags cut and flattened, construction paper are the other supplies I have in the trays.
Good luck with your art space peeps!