Sunday, May 15, 2011

Can you DO Art with Babies?

I was chatting with a friend about art and the young child, the topic turned to babies, and I commented that babies "being in art is what babies do, rather than create art. They experience art in the world around by experimenting, feeling and touching, observing and doing, by using their senses. Babies are engaged in art mediums all the time- hot/cold, soft/hard/ light/dark. Maria Montessori also believed in exploring art with children through similar experiences- bring a vase of flowers into the house, take the child for a walk, let them feel the cool grass tickle their feet, bring in a basket of nuts from your walk for the child to see, share with them sculptures, paintings and your own creativity.

Art is a process not a product and as the child grows they will begin to experience the process of wet paint onto dry paper, wet paper and dry chalk, they will see colors mix and blend, they will strengthen the muscles needed to write every time they push their brush up and pull it down. All of this about being involved in a medium and not creating a medium and it begins with the baby who rubs a silky scarf against their cheek and likes the feel.

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