Follow My Voyage….Baboró Early Year Arts Mentorship 2016: Part III

During my mentorship with the Baboró International Children’s Festival, I really began to appreciate the functional benefits of early years art, as well as the poetic that I discussed in my last article.  Early years art is an exceptional way to aid children’s development, and helps them to strengthen key skills along their developmental journey.

Gross motor skills

Get them moving….gross motor skills involve arms, legs, feet, and the entire body. Art projects that require young artists to stretch and move while creating are fantastic for developing this skill set. The large movements required for painting or drawing on a large surface such as on the floor or on the wall build coordination and strength.

Fine motor skills

Early Years Art Childrens Development Fine Motor SkillsThe smaller movements of fingers, hands, and wrists required to use a scissors, work with clay, peel and stick stickers, or draw on small surfaces develop fine motor dexterity and control.

Developmental milestones around age 3 usually include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Many preschool programmes emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will later need for writing.

Visual motor skills

Hand eye coordination or visual motor skill is the ability of the eyes to guide the hands in movements. This will go on to be very important when it comes to learning how to write for example.  So many elements of the art making process encourage improvements in the area of visual motor skills, such as cutting, threading, tracing and making patterns, and for the very young simple pouring and filling activities are a wonderful start.

Language and cognitive skills

Making art and talking through the process is an excellent opportunity to learn new words and apply meaning, especially when it comes to colours, shapes and actions. Take a simple activity such as crumpling up paper and calling it a “ball.”, children as young as 1 year old can learn in this way through making and repetition.

Oral motor skills Early Years Art Childrens Development Gross Motor Skills

Little kids need to strengthen and develop important lips, tongue, and jaw muscles,  which effect their progress with feeding and speech. Fun activities that involve blowing bubbles, or blowing paint are exceptional for improving oral motor skills, and great fun too!

Social and communication skills

Art is often about problem-solving and through art children can experience a healthy
sense of pride in their accomplishments. Making decisions about how to hold a paint brush, which color to use or how to thread a bead are important lessons that strengthen confidence and emotional maturity.

Working in a group on a art project involves important lessons on sharing, developing empathy for others, self regulation and taking instruction, all of which contribute to a positive learning environment.

According to UNESCO, “the encouragement of creativity from an early age is one of the best guarantees of growth in a healthy environment of self-esteem and mutual respect – critical ingredients for building a culture of peace.”

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The Essential Art & Craft Supply List For Kids

Kids-Art-SuppliesSo you’re a great parent who wants to encourage creativity at home, or a new teacher who doesn’t know where to begin…..let’s talk essential craft supplies for kids.  I’m an artist and teacher and am here to tell you exactly what you do and don’t need….and stop you from breaking the bank!

Below you’ll find a excellent list that is genuinely based on my own personal experience and preferences from working with children.   You can also download & print my super smart Kids Art and Craft Supply Checklist to help you get on track right now!

* The asterisked items are my “can’t live withouts”!

Mark Making
  • Pencils *
  • Colouring pencils *
  • Paint markers such as  Uni-posca Paint Markers
  • Regular colouring markers
  • Chalk
  • Rubbers/ erasers *
  • Toppers/ sharpeners  *
  • Rulers
Cutting & Sticking
  • Kids scissors *
  • Sellotape/ sticky tape
  • Masking tape
  • Stapler
  • Paper glue stick, like my all-time favourite Pritt Stick  *
  • PVA glue
  • Multi-use glue
Painting
  • Paint brushes *
  • Liquid watercolour
  • Tempera/ poster paint *
  • Acrylic paint
  • Clean yogurt cartons for paint pots *
  • Old glass jars for water
  • Old plates for pallets
 Paper & Card
  • White printer paper *
  • Coloured paper/ construction paper
  • Coloured card *
  • Old magazines
  • Old cardboard
  • Toilet roll inserts
Textiles
  • Wool *
  • Coloured felt sheets *
  • Coloured foam sheets
  • String
  • Needles & thread
  • Ribbons
  • Googly eyes
  • Beads
  • Glitter
  • Sequence

Print my Kids Art and Craft Supply Checklist  PDF now to help you get organised

Jane’s Top Tips

Essential Art and craft supplies for kids. What materials you need at home     Essential Art and craft supplies for kids. What materials you need at home

  • Rubbers/ erasers: Although they are essential, I try to encourage kids to embrace their mistakes.
  • Rulers: I discourage kids from worrying about straight lines but sometimes rulers are very useful.
  • Paint brushes: Round-head, medium thickness paint brushes, with a pointed tip cover a multitude.
  • Paint markers – such as  Uni-posca Paint Markers : These cost more than regular markers but are so versatile. They work on so many surfaces, and produce strong, vibrant colours even on a coloured background – I wish they had these when I was a kid!
  • Crayons: Crayons are my go-to option for younger kids, but they are also fantastic for special projects such as water resist technique. White crayons are a must!
  • Multi-use glue: Adult supervision is need with this as it is toxic, and very strong, but an excellent option for fabric, felt, plastic and wood.
  • Acrylic paint: Although it is not on my essentials list acrylic is my favourite paint because the colours are so strong, vibrant and smooth. But it is not easy to wash from clothes, are is more expensive than the other more kid-friendly options.
  • A3 paper & card: I always buy A3 paper and card because if you need smaller you simply cut it to size.

Jane’s ultimate Top 3 MUST HAVE items for unlimited creativity…..

  1. Coloured card
  2. Paint markers – Uni-posca Paint Markers
  3. Paper glue stick, like my all-time favorite Pritt Stick

What are your personal favourites when it comes to kids supplies?  I’d love to see which of mine are and are not on your list.  Please leave me a comment below!