Just a few days late…
Just a few days late…
Sorry for the lapse in new posts of late. Unfortunately, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with some family matters…an ailing mom in a different city…difficult times. This post is for those out there who, like me, may be in need of a little something to lift the spirits. I happened upon this post by another art therapist and am repblogging it here because, although it features creations by an adult artist, the marriage between art and nature fits nicely with our ART IN HAND ways, and the images are so lovely and soothing…just what the doctor ordered. I think I’ll print them and send them to my mom as well!
The most powerful tactic…to awaken the curiosity of a child…is simply to head for the hands.
– Frank Wilson (1998)
In his whimsical tale of an ambitiously imaginative boy who invents a car with all the trimmings (including built in swimming pool, snack bar, and the capacity for sailing the seas and soaring through the skies, to name a few), Chris Van Dusen speaks to the wild imaginations of boys and girls everywhere, who dare to dream big.
Inspired by this engaging book, our toddlers and preschoolers expanded their visual vocabularies by tinkering with 3-D materials to come up with inventions of their own.
The range of experiences, lessons, skills, and designs were broad and delightful to watch unfold.
Each child received a brown bag filled with a variety of wood pieces and a rectangular cardboard panel as a work surface. They were given ample time to simply interact with their pieces, without the notion of creating a permanent arrangement.
The end result was this veritable visual wonderland. From chaos to order to symmetry and back, these creations conjure images of vehicles, contraptions, buildings, cityscapes and random fun. Our sculptors ranged in age from 20 months to 5 years old.
And this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the fact that the book also features a very spunky pup, who is the spittin’ image of my wonderdog, Chessie, in every aspect of appearance and winning personality!
In case you missed it the first time around, check out our post and slideshow Have You Seen Trees? Even if you visited before, we’ve added a slew of new pictures to the slideshow. Thank you Ms. Jessica who teaches on Tuesdays in Alexandria, and Lia (mommy to a budding painter and photographer extraordinaire) for your contributions. Drawing and painting BIG was a blast!
Stay tuned for adventures in 3-D in the weeks ahead…
This lovely book written by Joanne Oppenheim and illustrated by Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng
inspired life-sized art, as we posed like trees and got to stretch our limbs as we drew and painted on large paper posted on the wall. Working large, on a vertical surface, makes the act of drawing and painting very much a gross motor (rather than fine motor) activity. The arms move from the shoulder down to the hand, and the entire trunk is engaged for balance as children paint in a standing or squatting position.
Have you seen trees? High trees, wide trees, reaching-to-the-sky trees….
Nothing like baby animals to bring out the nurturing side in us humans, and toddlers and preschoolers are no exception. The essence of that nurturing spirit is captured literally and symbolically in the concept of the nest. And the act of nesting itself, creating a warm, protective environment in which a new life can grow and emerge enveloped by its parents and the safe haven they so carefully crafted, is truly captivating for young children, as they identify with the babies in the scenario and also get to try the parental role on for size.
Toddlers and preschoolers are natural collectors…
… and gluers…
And as you can see, highly invested in creating their own unique nests.
An ambitious five year old got busy with scissors to create his own chipmunk from construction paper and flower petals (for eyes) to live in his nest.
I just love these nests, and look forward to seeing them emerge each spring!