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Young children are often natural artists. Even if they have never seen a paintbrush or a piece of clay, they joyously embrace the experience. These eager learners benefit most from visual arts instruction that begins with exploration and discovery and is guided by instructors that encourage children to ask questions about what they see and to reflect thoughtfully on what they make. In Studio’s approach to early childhood art instruction, children develop essential skills like problem solving and working in groups; they build vocabulary and self-confidence as they are encouraged to take risks and explore their own creativity; and they engage in the sort of meaningful conversations that will provide the foundation for their emerging language and literacy skills.
In addition to professional development workshops for teachers, assistant teachers, and administrators of early childhood programs, Studio in a School’s early childhood artists also continue to provide on-site mentoring in centers and schools throughout the city, where they coach teachers on activating their art centers and displaying children’s work, as well as providing workshops for parents.
Early childhood teachers and supervisors report that working with Studio’s artist/instructors has helped them enrich their classrooms and develop a sustainable visual arts curriculum that will benefit children for years to come.
Your littlest learners explore collage, wood construction, paint, and clay. They learn to look closely at objects and respond to the visual world that surrounds them, including exemplary works of art and art in picture books. Teachers ask questions that lead children to reflect on differences in texture, color, shape, and size. Children learn to make choices about materials and solve concrete problems, for example, like how to combine simple shapes to represent an animal. As they explore the world through art, they deepen their sense of self and identity and find new worlds opening.
Children create a new language when they make art. They express ideas and emotions they may not otherwise be able to, and often discover a new sense of self. They discover fundamental principles like cause and effect when they experiment with mixing colors or balancing wood while building sculptures. They also discover appreciation for other children’s points of view and emotions as they work together and share reflections about their work.
Creativity is hard work. It requires children to engage in observing, remembering, and imagining. Students use all five senses when working. They might notice the fuzzy edge of a torn piece of paper. When combined with each child’s unique set of strengths and perspectives, these artistic explorations motivate to create meaningful artworks and build foundational skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
Children learn how to make art – and so much more. The Studio method teaches children to observe the world closely, describe what they see, and reflect on what they create. They learn to engage, focus, persist, take chances. They learn to use art tools, including their hands, and increase their fine motor skills. They learn to share their artwork with others. Most importantly, they learn they can create, which gives them the confidence and curiosity to take on new tasks.