Appreciating Children’s Art

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Image by Hipnos

Possum attends the local kindergarten, which luckily for me is just at the end of our street. The 4 year old program consists of two long days (9am-3pm) of traditional play based kinder and one half day session. Depending on what days that you choose, the half day program is taken by a specialst music or art teacher.

These are also play based programs, but one which emphasises a particular area of development. For Possum we chose the art program, Little Rascal did the music program. I have found both to be excellent creative outlets for the children and my expectations of each are that the children enjoy themselves (not become artists or musicians!!).

Next week as the end of term is approaching, Possum’s Art Class is having an Art Exhibition. This will showcase some of the major pieces they have created throughout the year. The exhibition is held in the early evening and the kinder room is turned into a “proper gallery”. The children’s art works are presented beautifully and key pieces are group works that all children have contributed to.

I have thought this to be a gorgeous way to appreciate the children’s art works. Early childhood researcher Dr Danielle Boone has recently interviewed children aged between four and six-years-old about their artwork and the process of creating it.

Dr Boone was quoted in The Age saying:

“Young children are just getting their independence and learning who they are, which is quite often expressed through their art,”

The research also found that preschoolers have strong opinions about who should see their creation and how it is displayed.

“In the minds of children, creating the artwork does not end with putting the paints away – it also includes what happens next.”

I think the art exhibition for Mabel’s art class will be a beautiful way to appreciate their work and the insights by this research will make me think about how I present the children’s art work around our home.