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Children and Their Art

We believe it is important to give children the time, space and materials that encourage their confidence and ability to grow naturally in art. As educators, we know that the child’s experience with art materials is far more important than the finished product. We know that as children develop, they learn to sit, crawl, stand, walk and then run. In art, similar stages of development can be found.

It is Hester’s philosophy that children need encouragement and many chances to comfortably experiment with art materials. We accept the child’s level of art, wherever it may be on a developmental scale. We discourage the use of patterns, stencils, and coloring sheets, as they tend to discourage independent thinking. On occasion we will have children "color" inside the printed lines in order to enhance their small muscle development and eye-hand coordination.

Art and the ideas behind the child’s art come from within the child. Art is a personal statement. We encourage parents to ask your child, "Tell me about your picture," rather than ask, "What is it?" As children grow and have more opportunities to experiment with the many facets of art, their style will become more defined. Talking about the child’s artwork creates an opportunity for open-ended conversations. The child’s opportunities for creativity enhance future reading and writing ability.

Hester’s offers a variety of art experiences during the day. Each art activity is important and teachers treat it as such. We encourage the parents to treat art as important as well. We hope all families will have a "display place" at home for the art of their children. Displaying children’s art lets them know it is special and the parent values what the child creates.

Hester’s starts art experiences even with the youngest of the children in our schools. Remember, the first "scribble" that comes home is the first stage of a child artist at work! By the time school-age children are spending their afternoons and summers with us, they will be using advanced art materials and creating art objects that parents will treasure for years to come.