Speaking to Their Inner Artist: Discussing Your Preschoolers Artwork
Children are naturally curious, and having the opportunity to explore art is not only fun for them, but also educational. This free play helps them to form connections in their brain, as well as to develop fine motor skills and critical thinking.
You can further encourage their creativity by asking the right open-ended questions about their painting or drawing, to show them you support their work and help them to express their ideas.
Tell me about what you’ve made?
We know how tempting it is to ask “what is it” when you’re unsure, but this question will likely be met with a confused face or angry scowl! Instead, ask kids to talk you through different elements of the piece, to give them the opportunity to tell you what they’ve created, without causing offence.
Where did you get your idea?
Discuss their inspiration for the piece so you can understand more about their creative process. When working with a child, avoid giving them a set plan or outcome. Let them explore using their imagination, and avoid the urge to help.
Which part do you like best?
Ask them about their favourite part, and follow up with open-ended questions such as “why?” or “what makes this part so good?”. This encourages them to critically analyse their work and to learn more about their own preferences. Ask them this before giving your own positive feedback, so he or she can learn to identify their own feelings and develop self-confidence in their art without the affirmation of others.
Why did you include x?
Get specific with your questions and comments. Ask them about the colours, lines, shapes and textures used, to show them how you’ve paid attention to the finer details. This encouragement is key in building their self-esteem.
What would you name this painting?
Ask them to give their masterpiece a title, which can make it feel more meaningful. Naming the piece also encourages a new depth of thinking, as children will have to consider the piece’s primary theme in order to come up with a title.
What materials did you use?
Focus on the process over the finished product. By discussing how your child worked on their piece, you’re letting them know they can express themselves freely without being concerned about the opinions of others. This promotes intrinsic motivation. Without this, a child may be more likely to create something in order to gain approval from you or other carers, rather than for themselves. Ask them anything about how they developed their creation.
Where would you like to keep it?
Preschoolers are often very proud of their artwork, so let them have a say in where it will be displayed. Putting this decision in their hand stretches their imagination beyond the painting or drawing, and can instil a larger sense of pride and ownership.
We pride ourselves on providing an environment where children feel happy, protected and able to explore their creativity. Located in central Auckland, Kids’ Kampus is committed to nurturing your child’s individual qualities and potential. For more information about our curriculum, call (09) 630 1454.