One of our youngest classrooms has slowly started to add in more art experiences within the classroom, either with a teacher or on their own.
So far this year, we have only brought out art and drawing materials when they could be supervised by a teacher, but today, we started offering paper and crayons on the easel at all times and small notebooks with crayons on our art shelf.
Drawing with different mediums allows the children to experiment and see what kind of pressure is needed for them to be able to make the mark they would like. Crayons on shiny paper require a lot more force than markers or chalk.
Drawing in different planes also requires the children to use their bodies in different ways. When standing and drawing, a child must engage their core more, hold their wrist in an extended position, and can allow bigger movements with the shoulder and elbow. Laying on the floor and drawing above allows even more opportunities for shoulder and elbow engagement and a chance to work together and move around one piece of art.
When the notebooks were first noticed, the first thing many of them did was take them to other parts of the room to draw. They sat on the bench, the little couch, the step stool and just in chairs and had to figure out how to keep the notebook on their laps while they were drawing.
It was interesting to watch as the children worked with different materials throughout the week. We had tried having materials out throughout the day at the easel before, but some of the children would take the crayons to different parts of the room to draw on things like blocks or the shelf. They now seem mature enough and have had enough practice with drawing materials to be able to draw on paper only (most of the time!) They enjoyed having the notebooks that they could take around the room with them.
Reflection by Pam Staley-Ace and Andrea Tallacksen