How to Encourage Creativity at Home
Adults can enhance or extend the effectiveness of arts activities with young children by:
- Working together to create a learning community that includes arts specialists, artists, parents, families, care givers, teachers, and educational consultants.
- Planning arts activities that reinforce the learning activities of the child care program, classroom, and home setting (including cultural events and customs).
- Being familiar with young children’s stages of development.
- Participating in arts activities with children where they feel comfortable, and where they feel their talents exist.
- Relying on current materials and resources to inform the planning of arts activities with children.
- Recognizing that play is a critically important vehicle for children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development as well as a reflection of their development.
- Guiding children but avoiding rigid performance or presentation rules and structures.
- Facilitating developmentally appropriate child-initiated and child-centered activities or projects in the arts.
- Providing guidance to young people on using materials (e.g., media, musical instruments, and technology).
- Providing activities and materials to create, perform, and respond to their own or others works of art.
- Providing ongoing opportunities and materials for creative reading and storytelling activities (e.g., puppet shows, books, stories read by adults, role-playing).
- Using a child’s language in as many experiences as possible (e.g., labeling objects and works of art).
- Recognizing the child’s efforts and works (e.g., displaying artwork and giving positive feedback) and having a place for all children’s efforts, not just the “best”.
- Recording and communicating each child’s progress and achievements in the arts.
- Inquiring about and understanding the arts curriculum in the child’s school.
- Being good listeners and observers.
- Communicating regularly with school and child care administrators and teachers about the arts program.
- Being strong advocates for quality arts education experiences.
- Participating in intergenerational programs by connecting young children with teenagers and young adults.
Source: “Young Children and the Arts: Making Creative Connections”, a Report of the Task Force on Children’s Learning and the Arts: Birth to Age Eight and the a product of the Arts Education Partnership.
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