Anyone who knows history or has studied the United States presidents has come across the story of, young, George Washington and the cherry tree. Most people can tell you that they remember hearing the story at one point in history. And since broad themes are tricky when dealing with very young children – this week is U.S. Presidents and some local tots created some fascinating cherry trees in honor of George Washington’s birthday.
Now this is just exposure to many different themes and concepts not necessarily the why or who. Toddlers are working on many different skills and are learning to master large and small motor skills, hand-eye coordination, textures and spatial awareness, just to name a few. So if these cherry trees look like they were done by “two year old children” well then you are right on. With a little help from the teachers the children made their trunks using their forearm and brown paint, they used green paint and sponges for their leaves and ended with trying to use only one finger and making their red cherries.
The results were awesome and the children enjoyed exploring the materials and manipulating the paint and sponges to make their creations. This is just another example of process art and not product – art in a toddler and preschool classroom should look like it was child created. It is through this process that children will learn the placement of colors, paints, top, bottom, side to side (spatial awareness) and hand eye coordination. These are the things that little tots are working on daily to master in preschool and kindergarten.