Adults have the opportunity to provide the time, space, materials, and atmosphere to create the wonderful works of art that only children can create. In valuing a child’s first artistic attempts, however, we should appreciate the beauty of the color and design rather than worry about the finished product.
Real art for real children is:
- Personal: Art can be as simple as colors representing a pretty day or as complex as a series of lines which express a sad feeling. It is important that each idea be developed by the child without adult preconceptions.
- Spontaneous: Always be ready for that creative moment!
- Inventive: Children need to have access to a variety of materials. Some art masters paint with egg yolks, mashed berries for color, and use sticks for brushes. Experiment!
- Imaginative: Cows can be purple, tears gray with glitter. The moon really can smile, and mommies can have six arms, as they seem to in real life.
- Unique: An original idea, combined with imaginative expression and materials of the child’s choice, encourages ownership and a positive sense of self-esteem. No two works of art look the same, especially when young children are the artists.
- Therapeutic: Art provides children with the means to gain control over their feelings. A completed creative work establishes feelings of self-satisfaction and self-confidence.
- Fun: Whether children concentrate alone or work in a shared creative group, a positive enthusiastic atmosphere of enjoyment is essential.