Art and Creativity

Art is important for children especially during their early development. Research shows that art activities develop brain capacity in early childhood; in other words, art is good brain food! Art engages children’s senses in open-ended play and develops cognitive, social-emotional and multi-sensory skills. As children progress into elementary school and beyond, art continues to provide opportunities for brain development, mastery, self esteem and creativity.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer Festival Fun

Summer is the time for outdoor festivals & street fairs, not to mention large picnics and family get togethers. What a perfect time to set up an arts & crafts table for hands-on fun. Here’s an idea that’s open ended and creative, but affordable and easy to manage for a big crowd. Plus it’s easy to carry, and makes absolutely no mess, which makes it perfect for a group art experience, no matter how large your crowd. I took these photos at a Universal Preschool Transition Fair in Los Angeles, where four year olds and their families were invited to celebrate transition into Kindergarten. This art project was perfect for young hands and minds to exercise their writing skills and imaginations.

To make scratch art shapes like these, purchase Scratch Design Shapes and Scratch Designs Jumbo Wooden Art Sticks from Discount School Supply. The pack includes bears, butterflies, cars, and other cute designs. First let children select their favorite shape, then hand them wooden dowels and ask them to scratch a design onto their shape and include their name “big and bold”. If they can’t write yet, they can still “doodle a design” which engages their fine motor skills in good pre-writing practice. As children scratch designs onto black plastic shapes, rainbow colors pop out from underneath. What fun! You’ll see lots of smiles and satisfaction. When children finish their design, punch a hole in the top and make it into a necklace using lanyard. That way when children walk around the festival or fair, they won’t lose their art projects and they’ll be proudly displaying them. Enjoy your summer, and look for more outdoor art ideas on this blog as our warm months continue.


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