My name is Kim and I have been the Infant Lead Teacher in East Greenwich for fourteen years. My favorite part of the day is the so called “Art” time. The children love it and the parents enjoy receiving their creations. While it is my favorite part of the day, there are great benefits to art in a child’s education.
In the Infant Room, art is introduced as early as three or four months of age, as soon as they can sit with support to begin to paint. Art stimulates the entire brain. For infants, art is a way for them to learn about new materials, what they feel like and how to use various materials, such as tissue paper where they can tear it, crumble it, shake it and make creations with it.
The process of how a child creates the art is more important then the final product. Many times, some adults may be looking for the first flag from an infant to be perfect like a Pre-K school age flag. However, the process of how a child is creating the masterpiece is more important than the actual perfect final product. Art stimulates the mind and helps a child’s creativity flow. By giving a child materials and allowing them to create what I like to call “a masterpiece”, helps a child to use their imagination and grow in the process of creativity.
Art is also a great way for a child to express their feelings. Each child creates “a masterpiece” different every day, even as infants. For example, give them foam shapes one day, they may glue them on top of each other, the next day, the foam shapes may be placed in a totally different pattern such as all over the paper. The child is viewing art different that day. Creations all depend on how a child is feeling that day and although some children may not be able to express their feelings, art can help them do that.
While creating their “masterpieces” children of all ages are gaining positive self esteem as they proudly show their final creation. Children even get more excited, including infants, when a teacher takes the time to place their creations on a special place for exhibition. Infants will smile and their eyes get wider when their creations are hung for all to see.
And finally, art helps children to work on their hand development known as fine motor skills when infants are opening and closing their hands to a Pre-K child holding a marker. Infants will begin the developing using their whole hand to write with a marker and as they develop will use the finger and them to grasp objects, which is a pre-writing skill. The writing skills will continue to grow as the child learns to create their letters in preschool.
Art is my favorite time of day as I watch our children create their individual masterpieces knowing there are so many benefits to art.
Kim has been with The Children's Workshop for fourteen years. She is a graduate of Rhode Island College and has a dynamic background in child education. She is an amazing head teacher and infant lead at our center in East Greenwich, RI.