Kids & Art are Perfect Together
by Kathryn Paul
The importance of art for young children is powerful! Friedrich Froebel, the father of kindergarten, believed that young children should be involved in both making their own art and enjoying the art of others. Art activities are important because they encourage each child’s “full and all-sided development.”
By creating a work of art, young children get a sense of power — it helps them explore knowledge of objects in the world around them. They will develop control of large and small muscle groups, eye-hand coordination, language development, decision making, visual learning, inventiveness, cultural awareness and a proven better academic performance!
Libraries are a wonderful resource to provide art experimentation for children. We can introduce famous or local artists, and kids enjoy hands-on workshops and topical books. We proudly display the children’s work, giving them the satisfaction of sharing their creations with others.
There are many lovely books where children discover artists in an approachable way. Prestel books has a series of 13 Artists Children Should Know. These books introduce children to famous artists — when and where they lived and what they were trying to portray in their work.
The You Can’t Take a Balloon… series by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman takes children on tours of the Metropolitan Museum, the National Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts. When a guard at the museum won’t allow a child to bring a balloon into the building — though the guard offers to “watch” it — we follow the child as she visits some of the most important pieces in each museum.
Eric Carle’s book, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, inspires children to use their imaginations to create pictures that don’t necessarily reflect reality, but are the outcome of their active minds.
I think my favorite art book for children is Herve Tullet’s Art Workshops for Children. Anyone not experienced in teaching art will appreciate this step by step approach to unleash the artist in everyone, regardless of age, background or artistic ability!
Events at the East Granby Public Library
East Granby Public Library loves the arts! In story time I will have an art unit. This will feature books of art/artists, then some creative work, for example painting under the table rather than on the table, painting standing rather than sitting, collage materials, painting utensils, clay — the list goes on and on! I will play different forms of music as well to get the creative juices flowing, and then display the work on bulletin boards, shelves, or hanging from clothespins.
Each year the East Granby Public Library hosts a Juried Art Show. This is a fundraiser for the library. Artists from all over the East Coast enter their work and are juried by a variety of art professionals. The pieces are displayed throughout our beautiful building for six weeks!
This year’s show will begin on Saturday, January 28, from 6-8 p.m. The opening event is open to the public and features live music, food and the announcement of the winners.
Also during the show, children’s art is displayed throughout the Children’s Room for family and friends to admire.
The East Granby Public Library is located at 24 Center Street. For more information about our Juried Art Show or our variety of story times, call 860-653-3002 or visit eastgranbypubliclibrary.org.
Kathryn Paul is the Children/Teen Librarian at East Granby Public Library.