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Open Ended Art

Posted by sunshine-dayhome on April 25, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Being with an accredited day home agency is sometimes inspiring, sometimes frustrating - and sometimes both. When I re-opened in January, my consultant let me know that we were expected to have open-ended art materials available at all times to the children. I have tried this repeatedly in the past, but always ended up with cut-up curtains, children sporting fresh new hair looks, and writing on the walls that took hours and heavy chemicals to remove. This topic became one of my personal goals since reopening. I have used chalk (wipes off!) and window crayons (ditto). When I realized that I could trust children with those, I laid out paper and pencil crayons - the ones that erase, at first, but soon I followed those up with real ones, and then felt confident enough to add crayons. Here's an example of an open-ended art provocation I set out this week:

By starting off with materials I felt comfortable with, I enabled the children to have free access to materials they could make marks with, starting when I opened. Then, I closely supervised to ensure that the children could be trusted to use the materials appropriately. They did - and to be honest, I was happily surprised! I came to realize that, just like jumping inside, children need to be given an appropriate outlet for their energies. By denying them crayons, I was denying them the opportunity to be creative - and so they seized the chance whenever a crayon was accidentally left out and coloured all over the walls. They used to climb bookshelves or jump on inappropriate furnishings, until I allowed them one old couch to jump on. Now, they only jump on the couch. They used to write all over the walls - now, they only write on the paper, because there is paper and marking utensils to use.

The children created beautiful images using the doilies. I love Nora's, which is the crumpled ball, and Olive's, which has a yellow center and a green outer ring. By offering these new materials in a beautiful way, I draw the children in and let their creativity and talents shine. By having items like this out all the time, my walls remain clear and shining, too! 

 

Categories: Emergent curriculum, Toddler, Inspiration or Provocation

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