I recently took Immy to see her first movie at the cinema. We were invited by extended family members to see The Yogi Bear Movie. I didn’t know much about the movie but imagined it to be a cartoon about Yogi Bear and thought that would be a nice way to introduce an (almost) three year old to the experience of an outing to the cinema. The movie was in fact a combination of film and animation and the storyline somewhat above my almost-three year old’s beautiful head. There was A LOT of “What’s happening, Mummy?” and as the movie built in excitement we had to first take a toilet break as a toddler generated excuse for some time out from the stimulation, and shortly after our return, as the movie reached that final push of excitement, Immy had a little meltdown and we had to leave the cinema. She was fine, a few tears as a result of feeling overwhelmed, once we were outside she was happy to be distracted and talk and laugh and play. Though she did declare that she didn’t like the movie at all and wouldn’t like to go back again any time soon!
Since then I have been fascinated to see her spontaneously turn to drawing and painting as a way of making sense of the experience and the emotions that so obviously engulfed her.
From spontaneous bursts of colour shortly after our experience, “this is the mess in the park after the fireworks.”
~Oil pastel and paint wash
To more detailed, representative pictures with lots of talking and explanation accompanying the creative process…
~ Felt tipped pen
Art can be a powerful mechanism for the expression of thoughts, ideas, knowledge and emotion. Open ended art materials like crayons, pencils, paint and clay provide children with the means to make sense of their thoughts and ideas, and more importantly, those strong emotions which they do not yet have the maturity or language to process in other ways – emotions like fear, frustration and sadness.
By expressing her thoughts and emotions through these art processes Immy has even found a sense of peace about the whole movie going experience, moving from her initial reaction of fear to now proclaiming that she loves it and wants to go again.
Art is essential to healthy development and learning.
“We all want our children to grow into intelligent, socialised adults who make a meaningful contribution to their society. We put a lot of thought, time and effort into ensuring they develop academically, socially and even physically, but often put much less emphasis on their creative development. In doing so, are we in fact limiting their potential to become well rounded individuals?
Art Not Craft will help you to foster your child’s creativity; providing parents with information about art as a tool for learning, practical ideas for making art happen at home (especially when it comes to managing the mess!) and activity suggestions which allow you to dip in at a moment’s notice to find new ways to engage and involve children in creating wonderfully individual works of art. “