Creative Thinking With Art and Craft

Art and craft is arguably the most magical, exciting, flexible and popular experience in any early education setting. A child’s life can truly be enriched through the art and craft program provided by educators. This newsletter will go on to discuss art and craft as a uniquely diverse experience for educators and children.

“Every child is an artist” – Picasso

Through art and craft, children have an opportunity to engage in social and symbolic play, exploring and transferring what they are learning in other contexts, and expressing it in their own ways. Children begin to understand literacy and numeracy through art and craft experiences, an essential component of Outcome 5 of the Early Years Learning Framework. But art and craft cannot be placed into a box that can be ticked. It is a fluid and evolving process that allows children to grow and develop with it. Take self-portraits for example. Children can create and communicate about themselves through this activity but they can also begin to develop a sense of identity (Outcome 1), learning to accept themselves and their distinguishing features as unique and wonderful. As they grow and develop so do their skills and abilities in relation to art and these differences become evident in recording self- portraits over a period of time.

Art and craft in early childhood delivers the opportunity to develop dispositions for learning. These dispositions are a group of characteristic responses to situations that are with you for life. How do you respond to a challenging task? Do you persevere or are you hesitant? Do you maintain an optimistic outlook?

Hidden challenges are everywhere in art and craft experience. How to hold a paint brush, how to write your name, getting the glue stick wound up, creating the image that is in your head on a piece of paper. And with every challenge, there is a response.

How we react to situations plays an integral part in how children will respond in the face of challenge or adversity.

Art and craft gives educators the opportunity to shape children’s responses or dispositions through meaningful encouragement, role modelling and positive specific feedback.