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How Art & Painting Can Help Pre-Schoolers

by Contributing Writer Mrs. Heffalump

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Painting is a way for children to express themselves, convey their ideas, use senses, explore color, use their imagination and create beautiful pictures. Painting also helps aesthetic development, fine motor skills, self-expression and speech. Of course material used should always be nontoxic and the ‘process’ is to be carried out with less damage to the household.

I love watching children fully engrossed in their painting as it is a very soothing exercise which is of immense importance to children. To paint over and over again using a paint brush or two is ideal, fingers can also be used and color combinations to make it more exciting and eye catching.

My son loves painting. We have a separate area for him to paint, with all the apparatus he requires to get the job done. When unused it is kept in a place he could see beyond his reach so that it is given to him on request which often is “Ammi !! Baba wants to paint”. But I must mention, ;) that I have a multi colored sofa, Shoe rack, a few Doors and a couple of walls which have been unfortunately included in his painting territory. However kids will always be kids and a wall can always be painted so it’s better to let them have their freedom to express themselves through these different modes of expression. Oh if you can check our article on What To Do When Drawings Hit The Walls

It’s a good idea to use an apron and to discipline them and to make them understand the importance of it.

Painting together is a great way to bond with your child. However it is very important not to control them when they paint. Always remember there’s no right or wrong when a piece of art is created, rather let him have the freedom to paint what he or she wants.

Children draw without any technique, pre plan or pre determinations. They draw what they perceive something to be, taste or smell.

Also remember, If you cannot accommodate a messy home there are places in Colombo that allows children/adults to come and make a bit of a mess up. When you ask your child about his painting always ask them what it is about rather that what it is. You may use a term such as “Tell me what your picture is about” an 99 times out of 100 the answer is something you wont imagine in your wildest dream, and that is exactly what you should not interfere with in order to develop their independence.

The most basic and initial forms of expression or progression of learning is through art. So what exactly do children gain through art:

  • They are able to express their feelings and emotions in a safe way.
  • Improves their eye-hand coordination and strengthens their motor skills. By giving them the opportunity to paint and hold a paint brush the correct way of holding a crayon, pencil or pen is learnt. (the pincer grip). Thereby enabling them to learn how to control their hand movement when they start learning to write.
  • They become aware of the many colour, shapes, lines and textures around us which they try to replicate through art.
  • By providing them with a choice of colours their decision making skills are tapped at.
  • They realise that not everyone sees things in the same way. That their friends have a different way of seeing things.
  • Colours when mixed together form new colours!
  • They can also be producers of art.
  • Enhancing social skills – to learn to clean up after painting and putting things back in place.
  • For older children they realise that different cultures are narrated and brought to life through art.
Mrs Heffalump is a Mom of one lovely little boy and would love a whole battalion of sons around the whole house! She loves love loves doing art & crafts, is an absolute control freak and can be slightly OCD. Mrs Heffalump is also a qualified Montessori Teacher, has her Diploma In Child Psychology , A British Council Approved Teacher and was working in a leading International School.

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