27 January 2012

Remarks about scribbles

Sheila has just posted links to two very interesting guides to children's art development. While I see my own role exclusively as a Godly Play storyteller and facilitator (NOT as an art teacher), I nonetheless found several points of interest there.

Here's great advice along the lines of the kind of feedback we try to give in Godly Play anyway:
As the [under-3-year-old] child starts naming his or her scribbles, listen to the child’s comments and use the meanings offered by the child as a source for dialogue. ...If the child says, “I’m running,” ask questions like “Do you like to run on the playground?” or “Where are you running?” Encouraging the child to verbalize his or her thoughts, feelings and experiences independently shows the child that you value what he or she has done. This sort of thoughtful praise will help children to be enthusiastic and imaginative in their future art encounters. (Craig Roland)
And this is a reassurance for those who might be disappointed not to be giving pre-set crafts to our preschoolers:
At four or five, the child begins to tell stories or work out problems with her drawings, changing basic forms as needed to express meaning. Often once the problem is expressed, the child feels better able to cope with it. (Susan K. Donley, citing Betty Edwards)
For these quotes in context, and much more, click through to Explore and Express: Art & Child Development: Two Great Resources.

1 comment:

  1. These are great thoughts. I've been stretched by my oldest though, because as a very cognitive child he struggled to enjoy drawing when it didn't really look like anything. Having quite a bit of art in my background, I didn't want to give him 'pre-set' craft kits, but did find that cutting shapes out or using magazine pictures to collage was a way to get him to engage in making art. It gave him a jumping off point and assured that my visual and fact loving boy had something that actually looked like something at the end.

    My second son is quite happy with his scribbles (much to my delight), but it has been a good lesson not to be too set in my ways on anything.

    My eldest is no longer in godly play (2-5s in our church) and is thriving/ loving a more conventional sunday school. There is something here worth exploring... godly play is great, but this boy of mine keeps stretching me!

    Thanks as always for your thoughts and posts!


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