Art, more specifically painting is an activity which we find we do a lot with our children, for us as the caregivers, it may be just to fill up some space in the day’s schedule, an activity which we don’t put much thought to because it seems fun, educational and keeps them quiet. However, much more than an activity, painting is an extremely important form of expression when it comes to children.
It is a way for them to convey ideas, use their senses, explore and learn colour, express emotions and ideas, explore process and outcomes and create aesthetically pleasing works and experiences.
If you watch a child carefully as they paint, it is almost like they are painting their personal thought patterns and emotions across the air for you, such as ‘if I mix red and white – I get this new colour, pink.’ Or ‘if I gently rub my brush on the page I get smooth lines.’ As a child paints and gets lost in the colours, textures, brushes, sense and control over this material, they will make their own connections and ideas of how the painting process works for them, as well as discovering what they enjoy about it and what they don’t. The beauty of watching a child paint is in these moments whilst we listen and observe, we begin to understand the way a child perceives his world, his developmental abilities, and his needs or interests.
The process of painting itself is often found to be very soothing to children, mainly because it is one of the easiest forms of expression for such a young mind. But also for many other reasons, such as the pleasant feeling of painting, using brushes and fingers (maybe even little toes) the different textures created and pictures obtained from different techniques.
So, as we paint with our children, we are allowing ourselves to see much more than a simple picture, if we observe carefully we can gain an enormous amount of information about each little child and in doing so we can create awesome experiences and support vital development at the same time. That I would say is a masterpiece in itself, wouldn’t you?
Thank You playful learning for the wonderful shots of Ayan and for always painting with him!