As part of our work on the Arctic, we have been looking at and learning about Canadian artist Ted Harrison. To know me is to know I have a soft spot for Canadian Art. Many do not know this but, during my undergraduate time at Mount Saint Vincent University I did a directed study on 20th Century Canadian Landscape Artists.
I love Canadian art and I love showing it to children and teaching them about the artists. We work very hard at Maple Tree to balance the crafty side of things with lots of artful experiences for our children. It truly boggles my mind when I see children not being exposed to such opportunities. It really doesn't take any more time to show children what to do and to set up the space to provide that experience.
Conference at Countryside Montessori School in Chicago this summer we knew we wanted to expand on our art activities and work presentations at Maple Tree. We observed so many work trays set up to introduce art to children that we had never considered before nor was it part of our learning as teachers back in the day. It definitely left us feeling inspired though.
Julie Karlonas. So, I quickly ordered Julie's art Manuals and Art Cards. The Art Manuals are brilliantly done from a Montessori perspective and the presentation trays so tailored for young children. Julie herself is a Montessori Teacher and an Artist. Fortunately, I was able to connect with Julie directly over the phone and we had a long conversation about art for young children and how important it is. Julie knew what I was saying and how passionate I was feeling about artful experiences for children. We both agreed more opportunities need to be available to children and real materials need to be in our children's hands.
As a Early Childhood Educator and parent, I feel it is important to encourage drawing, painting, sewing, felting and sculpting at home. Our home is nearing (I hope) the end of its renovation and I am thinking about spaces to set up in our new kitchen and dinning area that house paints, charcoal, pencils, wool and clay. I not only want to make this available for my youngest but my older boys as well. Not only are the children connecting with their heart, head and hand but they are talking to me and as my boys get bigger I see how important that is. When I am cooking or working on something often my girl is drawing or painting. The kitchen/dining seems to be the heart of our home and the best place to set up this space for our family. In a time when technology is so big and our children are so drawn to it, it's equally important to balance that out with quiet time at the table drawing, painting and sewing. ~michelle