Preschool students of The Experiential School of Tampa Bay have the opportunity daily to use a variety of art mediums, paper, art tools and much more, to create to their hearts’ content. While doing so, they produce multitudes of “products,” many of which, to a parent’s eye, may have little or no appeal or value. To your children, however, these may be the result of great effort and we should be careful to appreciate and give them value as well.Recently, I sat watching and talking with a young student who was cutting and coloring. As I talked about her enthusiasm for art, how sad for her I felt when she sorrowfully said that her parent just throws her pictures away. It is true that this particular child is prolific in her art production, but there are ways to show appreciation without accumulating masses of paper, etc. Here are some ideas:
- Set up a bulletin board, wall, refrigerator door or other space for display. It could be anywhere in the house from the kitchen to the child’s room. Every artist needs a gallery showing!
- When the gallery space is full, let the child decide on a favorite to keep there or in special box just for that purpose, or they may be perfectly ready to part with them to the recycle bin.
- Give away or send art to relatives as gifts.
- Children who are budding builders, engineers, or architecst, rather than visual artists, may also feel the pain of dismantling their works. They, also, can be shown that their efforts have value by taking pictures of their projects, which can be kept in an album. This, also, can be periodically weeded out by the child, in the same manner as described above.