Drawing, writing, cutting, scribbling, dotting, splatting – can be used to express our innermost thoughts or feelings about others.
Rubbing, sticking, twisting, scraping, crushing – can all be used for expressing emotions as well as realising and releasing our creative energies and urges.
Artistic expression can spontaneously express a number of emotions. Perhaps the love of life, or being so angry with the world that you could eat the sun. Confusion can sometimes be cleared with artistic fervour. I believe any state of being or message is possible to express with arts and crafts.
• Art for art’s sake. Create an area where crafts and arts can be undertaken whenever needed or wanted. Provide tools for this: paper – blank pages or books, different drawing and writing implements, perhaps sticky tape, scissors, glue, paints, brushes, newspaper. Add to this collection over time.
• Crafty support. Work together to store arts and crafts tools so that they are readily available. Find containers and sort items into them. Model and support “when we make a mess we clean it up” whenever craft time is over.
• Scrapbooking. Provide support for children “scrapbooking” their own way, whatever they would like to gather and display.
• Collect. Gather natural additions to crafts – such as sticks, leaves, shells, stones, sand, flowers, pinecones or pine needles – use containers to store and keep them separate and ready for use.
• Crafty mistakes. Support children to work out what to do themselves as much as possible during their creative endeavours. All mistakes will be learning opportunities for next time!
• Tricky crafts. Try some more tricky crafts together. Perhaps making poi or weaving flax/harakeke, or making a model aircraft.
• Use it. Utilise recycling items in your collection for use in crafty constructions.
• Model life! Create models of real life things if that helps you express how or why things work.
• Express! Support children when working through real life situations by utilising craft work to express feelings and questions.
• Dear … Create helpful alternatives to verbal communication together such as drawing or writing notes for each other.
When crafting with young children it’s helpful to either take their lead as to what you’re both creating or keep your designs as open as possible in order to allow their full creative expression. If we draw a house our way children are likely to attempt to copy this rather than create their own expression of a house. However if we draw swirling lines all over our page this leaves ample room for creative freedom in the children.
Happy crafting. S xx