In the Montessori environment, we focus on each child’s developing independence, concentration, gross and fine motor skills and academic understanding of reading, writing and mathematics. We also emphasize the value of artistically creative endeavors, which helps to develop and strengthen “right brain” thinking.
Art educates and helps children to reach their potential in the following ways:
- Creativity – Through art, children learn that there is more than one way to do things. It opens their minds to the views and opinions of others and encourages them to think outside of the box.
- Emotional intelligence – Children learn to express themselves verbally and non-verbally through their art. Through observation, children can also interpret the feelings and thoughts of others.
- Critical thinking – Art encourages children to find solutions to problems, to develop their ideas and make connections between objects, thoughts and actions. Their ability to analyze, interpret and think in the abstract are also developed.
- Sensory awareness – When children work with a wide variety of materials, colors and shapes in varying spaces, they are encouraged to be more aware, appreciative and respectful of their environments.
- Physical development – Gross and fine-motor skills are practiced and fine-tuned. Hand-eye co-ordination is also developed.
- Language development – Art provides opportunities for discussions to take place where children may acquire new vocabulary, learn to express themselves better and engage in question-and-answer scenarios.
- Social development – Group art projects can be great fun and are a strong bonding tool. Children learn to collaborate with others and enjoy social interactions. It encourages them to observe and consider other people’s ideas and choices. They also learn to share and take turns.
- Development of a positive self-image – The beautiful thing about art is that there is no right or wrong. Children are free to let loose and create their own masterpieces without the fear of failure. They can experience the joy and pride of completing a project successfully, whatever their knowledge or skill-level.
Adults can support these positive learning experiences in the following ways:
- Nurture your child’s sense of well-being by admiring and displaying their art work. Keep in mind it is mostly about the artistic process and not so much the finished product.
- Ask open-ended questions about their work. This will help you and your child connect as they describe their ideas and the thought process behind them.
- Provide a variety of safe art materials, which your child has free and easy access to.
- From time to time, you could set achievable challenges. Keep them quite open, allowing for creative interpretation. Always start simple and develop the ideas and materials, according to the child’s level of ability.
- Don’t forget to have fun with your child! Children love it when adults get involved and have fun with them.
With some encouragement and lots of practice, we can all achieve success through art. I personally experience a sense of peace and joy when they are engaged in art activities. We can definitely integrate art into the Montessori classroom and into our daily lives.
Have loads of fun!
Best wishes from Michelle
Categories: News, Preschool