Art studios sparking creativity at Goodstart Prairiewood
When children pick up a paintbrush and put it to paper, they’re not just creating a new artwork.
They are developing skills that will stay with them throughout their lives. In fact, researchers from Michigan State University have found strong correlations between childhood engagement in the creative arts and measurable success later in life.
At Goodstart Prairiewood, educators are well aware of the benefits of creative arts, and have set up art studios in all of the rooms, from the toddlers to the preschool students.
Centre director Rebecca Akinpetide said the art studios allowed the children to interact with different paints and materials which promoted their creativity, communication and play-based learning.
“In the art studios, all of the children are encouraged to express their creativity in a safe environment. This helps them with their decision making skills, risk-taking, problem solving and even helps them build new friendships,” Ms Akinpetide said.
“At our centre, children learn through fun, interactive hands-on learning experiences which are not only enjoyable for children, but create a love of learning that can last a lifetime.”
Educator Alissa Higgins said the art rooms were open each day and provocations were set up to spark children’s interest and creativity.
“We believe in the value of process over product: it’s all about exploring different materials and allowing children the freedom to express themselves,” Ms Higgins said.
“Not only is it great for children’s imaginations, it has a sensory component, and helps them find a calm, quiet space to create.”
To encourage sustainability, the children also have access to recyclables such as boxes to encourage creativity beyond a piece of paper. Natural materials are also collected.
“We recently created a Christmas tree using sticks collected from a local park, and decorated it with decorations and lights.”
Research also shows the first five years of a child’s life are when 80 per cent of their brain development occurs. Children who are exposed to a wide variety of arts and crafts were more likely to create unique inventions and think out of the box.
Art tips for parents:
- Always ensure arts and craft supplies are available and accessible in your house. Paper, pencils and crayons are excellent.
- Encourage your child by hanging their drawings and celebrating their work.
- Take a trip to the local art gallery or museum and check out the art.
- Spend time with your child drawing or painting and exploring your creative side.
- Enrol your child in art classes, or expand their horizons by taking part in literature, dance and music.