Friday, August 24, 2012

Continue to Follow the Lead: Encouraging Thinking Skills with Preschoolers and School-Age Children through the Arts

When older preschoolers use their imagination with peers, they are learning to hone observation skills as they take their cues from another perspective. Older preschoolers may enjoy creating simple performances with puppets and props. In addition, their growing interests in exploring clay and other art materials can contribute to developing decision making and problem solving skills. Practice of thinking skills can increase a child’s competency!

By the time a child enters elementary school, she may be looking at the artwork or a performance by others and developing an opinion—another higher level of thinking. Caregivers can provide a space where children can hang artwork so others can look at and respond to it. The role of opinions can be modeled by responding to creative works in your home and community. Ask, “What do you like or dislike about a painting or sculpture?” “What do you think the artist was thinking about when he made it?”

Children can be encouraged to apply analytical thinking skills through verbal communications. These discussions can provide an opportunity for children to talk about their likes and dislikes in works of art, theater productions, stories, songs and poetry. They can share a judgment and, at the same time, take on the perspective of what another person may have been thinking. By this age, children may even enjoy collecting music or poetry to share with others.

No matter the age, creativity and thinking skills can go hand-in-hand. During your next visit to DCM, attend a drop-in session in our Art Studio and see how! 

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