That is what a month of art study with Mother Goose Time's #artcamp has done for my littles.
We have not missed a day to paint. We have not missed an opportunity to immerse in colors, with hands, brushes, and found materials.
Look at that face. Is there any more proof needed that daily art must be a part of any great curriculum? I think that smile says it all!!
When joy is the result does the reason really matter?
Water Lilies Under A Japanese Bridge
LOOK AT THESE!!!
Have you EVER seen anything more amazing?? These were painted by children ages 1-5 years!! (Breathe, breathe, breathe...the readers may not understand that you get hyper about art!)
We began with variations of blue; light blue, dark blue, and aquamarine, and the children and I observed and discussed those differences in light and dark. We added greens to our paint palettes as we carefully looked at the original artists work.
Our preschool curriculum partner, Mother Goose Time,created a masterpiece (oh yes, pun intended!!) with July's thematic Art Camp unit.
These were painted over the course of three days because the children kept begging, "Can we paint 'Water Lilies' again, Ms. Donna?" "PAAAAAALEASE?"
Drop the mic. We are done here...they asked to paint it by NAME!!!
So,,,a couple of things that just get me all giddy about that.
First, they REMEMBERED the name of the painting!!
Second, they had a genuine desire to create it again and again and again. I imagine that is what Claude Monet himself felt as he painted "Water Lilies" 250 times over the course of 30 years. (cool fact :))
But why bother? Why not just let them paint? Do they really need to know who painted what and what the painting really is???
YES!!! It is vital to the development of young minds to expose them to all forms of art. It gives them confidence in their own abilities to create and creativity is at the core of who we are as human beings.
“Exposing children ... to art is absolutely essential in the development of their sense of self,” Amanda Selwyn, Director of Community Arts at the West Side Y, explained to HuffPost. “As well as observation skills, a sense of creative self-expression, self-confidence, collaboration, physical movement and vocal skills." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/16/kids-talking-about-art_n_5806614.html
The cutest little artists around!
It was interesting to watch them work. Those that were older liked order and sequence to their paintings. They took liberties, like painting the bridge and this little artist even added people to her bridge!
See that one on the bottom right? See the little people? She has taken the original artists work one step further and added people enjoying the view of the water lilies from the bridge. I love all the unique views from the original painting. I can see how their little minds work, the stages of emergent writing they are in, and their level of interest.
It is also amazing that all our artists from the oldest (6) to the youngest (1) observed and recreated the foliage at the top (green) and the water at the bottom (blue).
But notice the bottom right....it depicts a more 3d scene of water that goes under the bridge and keeps flowing past the bridge with the land masses at either side. This artist has understood the depiction of the art to real life settings.
Just give it time...
As educators, parents and caregivers, we must give children time. Time is the greatest gift you can give any child.
They must have the time to create, to think, to make sense of what the world is and their place in it. When we do this, we give them the freedom to form opinions, test those and interpret results. It is amazing to observe. Stepping back and watching will give us insight. From that insight, we can effectively teach what THEY need to learn. This will be different for each child and that is where the job of teaching becomes real.
Exposing young, even very young, children to great works of art gives us the opportunity to observe their interpretation. We get to see the art with the freshness of a child.
Encouraging them to recreate it gives us a window to how they view the world around them.
Giving them the time and materials to create art again and again without imposing our ideas and agendas and without trying to move them along gives them the freedom to express their thoughts, stories, and emotions and create their own masterpiece. From this conversations about how they feel, what they believe, and how they see things will enlighten our understanding about who they are and individuals.
Isn't this the true meaning of art? Self-expression...
As always, I wish you well and I hope you get to play today! - L
I love introducing young minds to great concepts of math, literature and science. Art holds a special place in my heart. I love to watch children create something they are proud of. I love to watch their little hands explore and mix colors, textures, and concepts.
Today, we recreated the masterpiece, "The Girl With The Pearl Earring," by 17th-century Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer.
We practiced saying his name. We looked up where he lived on our beach ball sized inflatable globe from Mother Goose Time that the children LOVE! (want to get kiddos interested in geography, by a blow up globe!) It was quite challenging for 2's and 3's to say, "Vermeer." It comes out more like "wormer" (not exactly the same...but adorable!)
Who wouldn't want to play with this?! It just says, "Squeeze ME!" "Ask questions about my colors!" "Play with me!" Seriously cute!!!
Our "Girl With The Pearl Earring" recreations turned out beautifully...
We received these amazing little stick on pearl earrings from Mother Goose Time, blue napkins for the servant's "scarf", brown paper bags for the brown scarf portion, some pre-cut ovals for the face, and black "canvas." As I was placing the art in the center of the table for everyone to see, little minds were already at work making placement choices for the earrings, drawing eyes, and observing the servant girl's smile was "serious" and "sad" as one of my little ones described. They wondered what she was doing?? "Is she mad?? Is she sad??" they surmised as we discussed the possibilities.
But we didn't stop there! We extended the art into our Dramatic Play area with blue scarves and stick on pearls (from Mother Goose Time...btw, can you send me about 200 more?? Those were a MAJOR hit!!)
Just look at those little beauties!! Think this lesson is making an impact?? I sure do!!!
One might wonder why even expose young children to great works of art? Are they ready to appreciate it? Do they care? Why even bother??
This thought crossed my mind as I was laying out the month of July for our "Art Camp" theme with Mother Goose Time. If you have read very many of my posts, you know that I love to introduce big concepts. Children do have the capacity to understand when we take the time to show them that even big ideas come from simple beginnings.
"... when gifted kids solve problems in their areas of giftedness, there is increased electrical activity in both hemispheres. It appears that for the brain to be efficient, the two hemispheres of the brains must work together. By stimulating and exercising the right hemisphere of the brain, the arts strengthen the connection between the hemispheres. Kids should be exposed to the arts as their cognitive skills mature so that their right brain will be as developed as the left, and both hemispheres work in tandem, thus achieving the full potential of the mind." http://www.raisesmartkid.com/3-to-6-years-old/4-articles/33-benefits-of-arts-to-kids
So...basically, if you want to raise smart kiddos, you must give them experiences in art that go beyond the crayons. These must be significant and make an impression.
The New York Center for Arts Education says:
And my favorite reason of all....because it makes them smarter!! (I think I said that already.)
"Researchers from the Michigan State University have found a very strong correlation between childhood engagement in the creative arts and measurable success later in life. Children who were exposed to a wide variety of arts and crafts were more likely to create unique inventions that is worthy of patents, come up with ideas good enough to start a new company, or publish provocative papers on science and technology." http://www.raisesmartkid.com/3-to-6-years-old/4-articles/33-benefits-of-arts-to-kids
Big concepts, simple lessons, and amazing results. All in a day of play at Woolsey Academy for Young Learners.
As always, I wish you well and I hope you get to play today! - L
Happy Independence Day from Woolsey Academy!
Independence Day celebrations can be confusing, overwhelming, and scary for young children. When I know we are coming upon a holiday that may produce results other than, "Ooohhhh and Ahhhh..." I do my BEST to prepare our little ones with stories, songs, conversations, and art that they can understand and participate in. This gives them a sense of control over what is happening.
This inspired our very own take home "fireworks"!
We made our own "fireworks" with this simple Creative Arts project using our prickly "urchins" from Mother Goose Time "U is for Urchin" lesson during our A-Z Animals theme!
I LOVE to manipulatives and the children do too! They are perfect for building fine motor skills and always come in handy for dough, paint, and sensory play.
The "urchins" fit little hands beautifully and encouraged exploration at the sand and water tables. They were just right for making "fireworks" that our preschool babes could take home!
We began our day outside with PERFECT 70 degree weather, paper, red and blue paints, and these SWEEEEET little "urchins" that we adapted into "fireworks!"
Sweet Gum tree. Ugh....
If you look closely you will see that no sooner did I set out the plastic spiky balls, the children returned with some made by Mother Nature (instead of Mother Goose!)!! We have a beautiful Sweet Gum tree that completely shades our outdoor classroom.
Truth be known, I DESPISE this tree and it's spiky green balls. We literally have thousands of them.
The children LOVE them.
They play with them daily.
They become tea party "food." Balls for target practices, currency for shopping, math manipulatives for adding, subtracting and making into rows, and perfect for making towers that stick together.
I hate the tree because I can rake and rake and rake and still have thousands Sweet Gum balls littering the yard.
Today, I welcomed them and the results were fantastic!
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com