One of my registered storytimes this Winter is Preschool Art Party, a 6-week session with 3-5 year olds where we make art for 30 min together. It is so so fun.
We start out everyday with the song "If You're an Artist and You Know it" (clap your hands), doing two round with progressively sillier directives (wiggle your tongue in the air and say hello).
I focus every class on a different element from one of the seven components of childhood creativity from the Center for Childhood Creativity:
- Imagination and originality
- decision making
- communication and self expression
- action and movement
For instance, for my first class, we read Seen Art? by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith and talked about what they noticed in the art on the pages, drew from a still life (branches, rocks, acorns, and pinecones), looking at shapes and colors, and then painted directly on the still life!
I always send an email to the parents who register, letting them know what we did and why. Here's some of the text from that parent email:
"The reason I did this was to focus on one of the seven components of childhood creativity, flexibility. We saw the many different kinds of art represented at MoMA in the book, and then created two kinds of art using one still life. Cognitive flexibility is an important aspect of empathy – it helps us see from different perspectives – and allows us to develop creative solutions to problems, which is important in art, science, math, engineering, etc etc.
We also sang a song – If You’re An Artist and You Know It – and connected what we saw in a book to our own activities. Early Literacy skill-building takes many forms – and art is one of them! By learning to hold a paintbrush, we build muscles for writing. By expressing ourselves and explaining our art, we learn communication skills. By examining shapes, we are getting ready for letter recognition. More on that next week!
For a similar art activity at home, try setting up a still life. It can be a pile of recyclables, fruit, toys, etc. Set out a few different art supplies and let them choose what they want!"
We also drew our own picture books (communication and self-expression), and explored color making (decision-making). It's a great thing to look forward to. I only wish I had 45 minutes!