Stop dripping, no making a mess, and don't play around.
A friend of mine once told me that not every art piece brought home will be a perfect masterpiece. This is true. Some art pieces do go in frames to be cherished forever, some go on the fridge for a few weeks, and then there's art that gets recycled or thrown away. Throwing one piece away does not dispose of the value of the art class or the child's experience. There is much more value to a piece of artwork than what you initially see as your child shows you what they made during class. And maybe it's looks a big mess or a bunch of nothing! I promise you it's definitely not nothing.
Real true artists over time have made what seems like big messes and/or big nothings. This is an opportunity to talk with the students, get the brain gears moving, and engage in communication. Thinking, "It looks weird, but what does it all mean? How did the artist make that? Why do you think he splattered that paint all over?" See, gets you thinking. Children will tell you about their pencil slashes across the paper and their paint drips. It could be the child dropped the brush learning to grasp it, or it could be a dinosaur roaring! Go ahead and say, "Tell me about this mark!" That crazy paper may get thrown out, but the conversation with your little one will be treasured.
Not every art piece is a masterpiece, but it IS a magnificent process for the children and experience that is not seen but felt in the student's heart. During class we are in a process of play, learning, and experimenting. What you will see during our art classes is kids being given the time to be kids. To be their creative selves. They live in a world of rules and ways to do things, at home and at school. I bet at school they line up everyday in a straight line. Well, maybe it would be fun to be in a curvy line sometime? We can do that and make it work if it's a request. The creativity is discovering the possibilities of a line whether it's straight, curved, or zig zag! At art class, they deserve this opportunity for 30 minutes or an hour to take safe risks. We are here to enjoy this present moment and just be. It's okay if every piece is not going in a future art show to win a prize. It's ok if it doesn't make it to the fridge but gets recycled.
Also, remember in our rooms we have a scale of maturity levels and kids are all learning at their own pace. Maybe they are not ready yet to sit for 10 minutes. Then they can stand and make their art then, it's ok. We've heard a lot lately of "OH NO! DON'T DO THAT!" as parents jump in from the sidelines. Some parents come in and make the children do it over how they think the teacher wants it to look. It's okay if the child wants to put their name in the left corner instead of the right corner of their work. It's okay if they feel the paintbrush because they are intrigued. We stay calm as long as everything is safe, respectful, and there's no major earthquakes. Parents and caregivers, give them this moment to experience this.
We are not total chaos in the art class either. We recognize kids need a balance of routines, rules, and some creative time. This time in art is balanced. It is both full of excitement and peace. Our art classes are meant to be nicely balanced and a happy time.
Yes, we will have some masterpieces and some messes. We will react and respond with positive attitudes. It's all wonderful. We just take a few deep breathes and enjoy their smiles and wonder. The kids smiling is really what it's all about. Maybe smile ourselves as adults need to do more of that! Thank You!
Closing with a great poem that's perfect for the refrigerator! See below:
Let Me Be A Child
Let me know when I make you proud.
And help me to have pride in my own accomplishments.
Let me earn your trust. Then trust me.
I won’t let you down.
Let me know you love me. With a hug.
Or a pat on the back. Or, when I need it,
with a firm, but gentle “no.”
Let me be. Let me change. Let me grow.
Let me dream. Share my joy when my dreams come
true. Share my tears when they don’t.
Let me feel secure in my home. Help me realize that
love is always there..…that I can depend on you no
Let me run…..let me laugh…..let me play.
And most of all,
Let Me Be A Child