My son has been going to Gymboree since he was 18 months old. He is now 4. We always feel so welcome when we come into his preschool Art class, and his teachers are more than amazing. He is always greeted with a hug and a smile. I have recommend this particular center to all my friends. Our preschool art lessons are engaging, fun and change weekly. His teachers are one of the main reasons we have continued to come back every week. Thank you Shawn, Melany, Megan and Michelle. You are all so amazing. We love our art classes! Thank you all!
Class Type: Art
State: New York
Being able to make an impact on your surroundings – and know it – is an important step toward building confidence and independence. Confidence and independence contributes to a healthy self-esteem later in life and the ability to make better decisions.
Stanford University Art Professor, Elliot Eisner, has identified several benefits children gain from art. The first is the realization that one’s actions create consequences. He states, “The first thing that very young children learn is something that we often take for granted... they can, in fact, create images with material and that the activity of making such images can provide intrinsic forms of satisfaction.”
Repeated experiences with the same art materials reap new skills. Using a paintbrush to apply paint in a new way or rolling a ball out of dough for the first time is only achieved through experience with simple and familiar art materials. The more your child freely explores with crayons, paint, and dough, the more competent he will be.
It is also important that you praise his processes, not the end products – say, “I like how you move your paint brush” instead of “you made a nice picture.” This, in turn, will support developing competence.
Art activities should also include several materials of the same type. For example, provide plenty of paper and multiple colors of crayons for your child to choose under your supervision. Active children may need to switch out colors often and use a lot of paper. Your flexibility will support your child’s need to discover the outcomes of her actions. The more materials provided during art activities for toddlers, the better the experience for expression.
Saving your child’s art and posting it up – not just on the refrigerator, but in frames and other important places – will indirectly communicate that you value his art creations. Using the work to decorate cards or gifts will communicate this message, too. These simple actions on your part will reiterate the importance of your child’s ideas and contributions.