By Karen Cohen, Kindergarten teacher
Art is a fundamental part of any kindergarten curriculum. Art-related activities are not just time-fillers to keep students busy in the kindergarten classroom; they help you achieve important outcomes. Art projects develop language, creativity, and fine-motor skills while boosting a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Art activities also tackle two other important kindergarten goals by teaching organization and persistence to a task.
Speaking of organization, how do you face the challenges of setting up and maintaining an organized art area?
Art shelves that have too many materials that are overflowing their containers can overwhelm students. In this case, I think, less is more. By labeling the containers, students understand that everything has a place and there’s a designated place for everything! Kindergarten students might want to suggest some categories of materials for the art shelf to broaden the offerings. It’s a good idea to have some novel materials that you can cycle in and out over time to keep children engaged and motivated to try new things.
The art center in my Kindergarten classroom gives students an opportunity to use art materials at their discretion. This choice gives them their own sense of creativity and self-worth. Their smiles are priceless when they have created something “all by themselves.” The examples here show the endless possibilities of creative output when children have access to open-ended art materials and are encouraged to express themselves freely.
When we see unique representations of familiar themes such as the ones pictured here, we can feel confident that we’re inspiring young artists! If you walk into a room and see multiple rainbows that all look the same, we don’t get to experience each child’s artistic vision. You’ll never know if the next Picasso is in the making right in your classroom.
Be that teacher who praises the process and admires the creative effort!
Karen graduated from Franklin Pierce University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has been teaching in early childhood classrooms, as well as supervising teachers, for the past 24 years. She is currently teaching Kindergarten at the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill, NJ. Karen is married with 2 boys ages 7 and 12.
The opinions, representations, and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of Becker’s School Supplies as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.