What is free art?
We did this twice last week, and it was a huge hit. The first day, I set out markers/pencil crayons, scalloped rulers, stamps, a paper punch, glue, coloured paper and a magnifying glass. Every now and then I’d add something new to the mat as I thought of it – the stencils, the fancy scissors and the paint dabbers for example.
This is a really relaxing way for kids to create. There’s no right or wrong, there’s no agenda; it’s just kids exploring art at their own pace, in their own style. And because it’s completely driven by them, they love it. Even our youngest, who prefers “playing” to crafting, stayed at the mat trying out all the goodies for about a half an hour.
They knew what was there. They knew what they wanted to do. They did what made them happy. See the next picture? This little one spent ages cutting her strips of paper into little squares. I was tempted to suggest that she try something else, but she was obviously very content to be doing what she was doing. And it’s not surprising that she finds it so fascinating: think of how many different things she’s learning about as she sits there cutting: fine motor control, measurement, shapes, sizes, colours, patterning… there’s much more going on here than meets the eye! And when she did tire of cutting, SHE made the decision to try something new. She always returned to her cutting and snipping though. Bonus: we now have a container FULL of colourful little squares to use for mosaic collages one day. I also did not discourage the children from any of their creativity. Hence, we had coloured hands, and paint on our pants and our socks, (can you see why I call her Miss Mess?), but if you can embrace a bit of mess, and get past the painted hands, you’ll see children who get really creative because they’re not worried about staying clean, or fearing that Mom will be upset if they get their clothes messy. It’s wonderful to see them expressing their creativity freely like this.
And look at the results. Each child produced a piece that was completely unique and original.