May 7, 2018
Arizona Early Childhood Network
Adopting the creative process in your classroom provides children an opportunity for self-expression, while sparking their imagination. This will ultimately enrich their experience when it comes to the arts. Aside from allowing the children to channel their inner Van Gogh, the creative process provides a few other benefits that are foundational to their success in school and life.
Here are a few benefits of fostering the creative process in your classroom:
The creative process is a great stepping stone in a child’s decision-making abilities. They’re now making their own choices when it comes to expressive activities. Whether that involves cutting different shapes out of construction paper, painting a classic masterpiece with an array of colors or building their favorite animal out of toilet and paper towel tubes – the decision-making required during the creative process helps to build those cognitive abilities through empowerment and creativity.
Set time aside each day for an art activity – for example, have the children cut different shapes out of colored construction paper and then direct them to build a monster. The creative process of choosing which shapes form their monsters nurtures independence and decision-making, while providing a sense of freedom.
Supports Emotional Abilities
When a child is afforded an outlet for expression – it opens up space for the discovery of their emotional range, which will ultimately prepare them for the potential ups and downs that will happen throughout their lives. Pretend or dramatic play are especially beneficial to developing a child’s emotional abilities. Allowing your classroom to engage in spontaneous, self-directed creative play is essential to their social and emotional development.
Provide different materials and equipment to use in creative play. Have a corner specifically for this form of expression – keep boxes filled with different styles of shirts, belts, scarves, hats and even wigs. Give them access to different props and toys that stimulate their imagination and creative expression, both of which are vital to their healthy development.
Fosters Language and Literacy Development
Simply discussing and talking about the materials and tools that are used in art will build a child’s vocabulary. Don’t just talk about the scissors, construction paper, and glue—expose your classroom to different art concepts such as collage, water-color painting or even sketching. The children’s engagement in this discussion allows them to talk about and pursue their own ideas and artistic goals.
Gather your class and pick an art topic to discuss, such as the differences between painting on a canvas versus painting on art paper. Discuss the types of paints and brushes and then write the terms on the board; have your class repeat the terms along with what each term means. This process will promote their language and literacy skills, as well as build their vocabulary.
The creative process and use of the creative arts in your classroom will cultivate the children’s imaginations – they will become innovative thinkers and begin to develop their physical, emotional and mental capabilities. Make art, and support a child’s ability to express their own thoughts and feelings – they will gain skills that are fundamental to real-world success, all while having fun!