Art is another form of expression. Children often communicate their feelings, experiences and emotions using art. Do we teach art in a Montessori classroom? No, the focus is mainly on teaching how to use different art mediums so the children can express themselves. Art is naturally integrated in all parts of a Montessori classroom. In the Toddler and Children’s House classrooms, different types of art materials are always available on the shelf and children are free to choose art activities once they have been shown how to use them by the teacher.
Benefits of Art in Early Childhood
– Reliving the experiences
– Children tend to draw their experiences
– Creativity in exploring of an idea or a concept without restrictions and go as deep as possible
– Spacial and visual intelligence with play dough or a 3d collage helps in understanding proportions and general spatial recognition
– Decision making – Since they chose their own colors, pens, pencils and sometimes even the canvas Art is a great way to practice decision making
– Fine Motor skills and hand-eye coordination – Indirectly prepares the hand for writing.
Different Art Mediums
Different mediums can be introduced to your toddler starting from around 14 months. Please ensure to use non-toxic, organic colours or home-made paints/playdough if your child is still mouthing.
– Stubby crayons
– Finger paints
– Playdough or potters clay
– Chalk and slate
– Stamping with different objects
– Oil Pastels
– Colour Pencils
– Paper cutting
How to encourage Art exploration at Home
– Always start with limited materials. For eg- only 1 crayon or 1 stamp with paper.
– Keep the art materials accessible and choose child-sized materials . Go for smaller brushes, paper, stamps,etc.
– Setup open-eneded art activities on separate trays with all materials present.
Once children get more familiar they can choose different materials from the art supplies and setup their own activity.
– Integrate art with what they are currently interested in or learning about. For example – book of insects where the child draws and write the name, shading from light to dark while learning different layers of the ocean.
– Setup an area where a few of their work can be displayed. Let your child decide which work they want to put up. Remember, children are interested more in the process than the product.
– Display beautiful art prints and other art at child’s height.
– Expose your child to different forms of art like sculptures, embroidery, photographs,etc.