In Creative Art, we take the stance that children are narrating their ideas whilst producing pieces of “art”. Invariably, in the artistic process, there is “repetition” and “boundedness”; children begin to “do”before they begin to “make”, and there is exploratory play with materials and forms prior to intentional exploration of form and creation of meaning.At the same time, we listen when the children tell us stories about their visual creations. Some label and some describe what they are doing/making, especially when the teacher gets time with them individually. Importantly, the children are given the chance to engage in preliminary “first-attempt”, “second attempt” and “master”pieces. The best pieces are kept in a portfolio that are returned to the children at the end of the term. The best pieces are exhibited at some stage, and we respect “gallery visitors” and their words of encouragement! Some of the incidental goals that the teachers work on in the course of each session include: fine-motor strength, dexterity and coordination; attention-span, eye-hand coordination including visual-motor imitation skills and conceptual thought.
We have noticed that through this programme, the children develop the confidence to “try” especially when it does not look perfect or right in the beginning. Many of them are taught to care for the materials well and to handle them responsibly. Things can get quite messy in art, but that, we believe, is just part of the fun! Ultimately, we want to cultivate children who understand that they can express themselves through visual media. It has been said that being a “multiliterate” person in this technological century requires one to use a visual grammar. What better way to start learning to do this – in a fun and non-threatening manner – than in preschool?