Monday 30 July 2012

How much can a child learn through art?

Since moving to this new house painting and crafts of all kinds have been on the up, just because there is more space to be able just to do it as and when.  It has got me thinking though, how much a child can learn through art? 

Even when they are so small, you give then colours and paper and all of a sudden you are talking colours, counting, shapes, animals, objects and people.  You will find you practice matching skills and motor skills and strengthen that hand ready for the future; it is endless. 

Does this way of learning ever have to stop?  No I don't think so.
With HB she colours in a dinosaur.  She talks about the type of dinosaur, she talks about whether we know what colours they were.  She tries to remember what his name means; she tries to remember a Tyrannosaurus Rex means terrible lizard king, that a Baryonyx means heavy claw and so on.  She will also talk about why he might look like he does.  What are those spikes for?  Look at those claws!  How long was he?  How tall was he?  What colour was he?  It's endless.  Or she'll draw a volcano and while she is drawing it we mental label what she is drawing and talk about how it all happens and then that may stem into rock formation and so on.

I do history with my g two girls and we colour a picture like the one of Caratacus here.  Through asking questions like, what colour were his clothes?  What was this metal made of what colour should I do his hair?  They learn so much.  Then we can talk about what happened to him while they happily draw and learning is so much more fun.  They take colouring to a new level as they get older and I find they play with shading and then use this practise more and more in their own drawings.

Chiara loves learning through drawing; taking the colouring one step further and drawing what she's learning about.  Naomi often draws diagrams of anything she's trying to get her head around too, like the time when she was getting her head round how the heart worked.  We have a scrap book where we keep all these types of drawing a couple really.

Art is an amazing way of learning and I love fitting it into our days.  Painting, drawing, colouring in, no matter what it is, art Sparks so many questions and is so fun for the child involved too.

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