Making art is a joyful process for kids but it goes beyond that to develop a range of skills. Art serves as the gateway to writing as it prepares kids to hold pencils, recognize shapes and symbols, and recreate them using controlled movements.
This apart, art develops creativity and imagination in young children and allows them to relate to the environment through their senses and observation. Better fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are other benefits. They also learn about cause and effect.
By the time your little ones get to preschool and prepare to step up to kindergarten, they must be familiar with a variety of art materials.
Preschoolers should be able to recognize primary colors. You can teach this with the help of preschool games online and picture storybooks that use bright colors and simple shapes that appeal to young kids. Kids can be asked to name the color that you point at.
Tools of the Trade
Children should be given crayons, thick chalk pieces and markers that will allow them to practice their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They can have free rein with their coloring tools as they learn to use them. You can tape plain sheets on a table or large brown paper on the walls so that it is easy for kids to express their artistic voices with ease as they turn into graffiti artists. The chalk pieces can be used to scrawl on sidewalks or the driveway. Play dough is another way in which they can exercise their fine motor skills and create fun stuff.
Kids can graduate to using pencils and paint brushes. They are also ready to use child-safe scissors and glue. This can be turned into a combined activity. Kids can draw and paint on a sheet of paper, snip it into smaller pieces and glue them on to another sheet to create a piece of art!
By the time kids get to preschool, they will move beyond illegible scribbles. While one of the first shapes they will learn is a circle before they move on to creating lines. Preschoolers will also start creating symbolic drawings like people and will be able to express what it is that they are drawing. This indicates that their thinking skills are developing. This is also the time when they begin practicing letters.
Preschoolers will enjoy working with different kinds of art and mixing up different material. Finger painting, using cut vegetables dipped in paint to make prints, and drawing on textured surfaces can all be exciting for a preschooler. Again, this kind of experimentation will expand their imagination. They learn what happens when they mix colors or try to color the surface of a coin with a crayon.
By practicing art as a process and as play, preschoolers can reap its benefits!