Is your artsy child antsy to create? If your preschooler enjoys the crafty activities their child care provider offers, take a look at how you can extend the school day art-making at home.
Talk to the Teacher
Did your child delight in the finger painting project they tried during the daycare day? If your child comes home with a backpack of art daily, but you don't know how to replicate the activities at home, talk to the teacher.
Ask the early childhood educator:
- What materials do you use? Even though they may not have a specific materials list, the teacher can offer a few age- and developmentally-appropriate items to try.
- What processes do you use? The teacher can provide you with a few different processes, such as painting or clay play, to try at home.
- What lessons do the students enjoy? Ask the teacher about specific themed lessons or activities the students enjoy.
While you don't have to completely recreate the activities your child tries at school, you can use them as jumping off points.
Prepare for the Mess
Art is messy—especially when the artist is a young child. A well-prepared art area allows your child to explore the materials their daycare teacher suggests. To prep for the mess:
- Choose the just-right art area. Avoid carpeted surfaces or anywhere near light-colored upholstery.
- Cover surfaces for paint play. Wet materials, such as tempera paints, can soak through newspaper or a flimsy table cloth. Cover tables and other work spaces with a garbage bag or thick flattened cardboard.
- Use a smock. Along with your home, prep your child for the mess. Use an old shirt as a smock to protect their clothes.
Now that you've talked to the teacher and prepared your home, it's time to create. What should your child make? Read on for more information about early childhood art activities.
Create with Your Child
Your child's teacher doesn't lecture on art-making and then leave the students alone to paint, sculpt, or collage at will. Instead, they work with the children—asking questions and talking to them about the process.
Whether your child finger paints a mini-masterpiece, sculpts with clay, draws, or makes any other type of art, you should play a role in the activity. Ask your child open-ended questions (these are questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" answer) as they explore and experiment with the materials. Again, talk to the teacher if you're not sure where to start or what to ask.
To learn more about incorporating art and activities into your child's life, contact a child day care center such as Carousel of Learning Pre-School & Nursery that offers these activities.