Children learn by directly experiencing the world around them. Encouraging children to create art using a variety of materials, without rules or pre-determined guidelines, can open the door to creative thinking that can benefit them throughout their lives.
Young children’s brains are developing rapidly. From birth to five, the brain forms connections based on experiences that will affect the way a child views the world, both now and in the future. Studies have shown that stimulating artistic experiences promote healthy brain development in young children.
One of the best ways to promote creativity and artistic expression in young children is to provide them with materials that have no pre-determined purpose or way of being used. For example, children can create art from clay, paper, paint, crayons, chalk, cloth, foam, leaves, popsicle sticks, or many other materials. Give your child a variety of materials with only general instructions, and then step back and see what he or she creates. You can offer guidance and assistance if your child asks for it, but encourage your child to experiment, try new things, and use his or her imagination.
If your child shows interest in anything in the world around him or her, encourage your child to express that through art. Children may become fascinated by people, animals, plants, buildings, cars, trains, boats, robots, or anything else they see. Ask your child questions about those interests and encourage him or her to create art based on those ideas and to expand on them using his or her imagination. You may be amazed at what your child creates.