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We are doing far more than arts and crafts!

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

CELEBRATING CHILDREN AND THEIR MASTERPIECES - We are supporting early child development through the arts!

Creative expression is part of our every day!

At Little Learning Academy, we love to get creative! We get messy, we have fun, and most importantly, we lead our students through art projects while allowing them to express themselves how THEY see it! We support this for many reasons, all research-backed: “Young children construct their knowledge by interacting with the world” (Piaget 1928). “This means they must touch, see, explore, and manipulate objects to develop and learn. Young children should have "daily opportunities for creative expression" (Copple & Bredekamp 2009).

As with all things at LLA, we learn through play, including playing with art materials! Our art projects are seasonal, themed, related to our curriculum, and all you will see here today are considered Process and Open-Ended Art. We love it!

Process and Open-Ended Art: What is it?

Process and Open-ended Art can be considered the “free play” of art. If we show an apple and ask the child to draw an apple, they draw their version! They explore the shapes, colors, and ideas of the apple. Some children might draw the whole apple, and some might draw the apple slices they see in their lunch boxes. BOTH are correct and celebrated!

You might see a scribble, rainbow, or fish coming home from LLA. We celebrate every child's version of what they see and want to demonstrate. This supports free thinking and expression, builds confidence, and gives children a voice that might offer a different perspective.

Plenty to celebrate, right?

Why are Process and Open-Ended Art vital for a child's development?

Process and open-ended art are essential for a child to develop self-esteem and autonomy. There is no right or wrong way, and there are endless possibilities, where failure is not an option. Cognitive skills are heightened because the child plans what they want to create and applies problem-solving skills to manifest their vision” (Zupito, 2023).

In our art shows, you will see clay, collage, yarn, tempera paint, finger paint, crayons, construction paper, foil, textured mediums, and more. When children explore various art mediums, they develop fine motor skills. When children use words to talk about their creations, they develop social, communication, and literacy skills. When children create, they develop a sense of pride; they are free; their minds are open, and the outcomes are limitless!

How can you support creative expression and healthy development at home?

Here are some open-ended questions parents or teachers can ask children to support higher-level thnking during the "process" of creating art.

  • What made you think of creating your painting/art?

  • What does your art remind you of?

  • How did you decide to use those colors?

  • What can you tell me about your picture/art?

  • How did you feel when you did this?

  • What do you like about your art?

  • What do you think we can do with _________ ? (any art supplies that are near the child)

  • What can we do with this when we’re done making it? It’s okay if the piece of art doesn’t make sense to you. Hang it on the fridge anyway. Your child will feel proud and confident or their artwork!

Let's get creative!

With Love,

Dr. Deb

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