On October 2, 2014, 22 preschool children took brightly colored paints, paper, brushes, rollers and their hands and created marvelous pieces of art. Every child worked hard on his/her painting and seemed to take delight in the results. Staff supported the children in their efforts. The line of paintings drying on a long clothesline grew into a beautiful display of colorful creations. This project was conceived by Julia Angelos, whose family has been involved with Easter Seals for over five years. Julia wanted to give back to an organization that helped her family when her brother was young.
Preschool programs have always offered opportunities to young children to paint. An easel and smocks are staples in preschool programs and many families have paints, paper and brushes for the children to use at home. Have you ever wondered why? Painting offers an opportunity for children to grow in all developmental areas in addition to allowing their creativity and imaginations to take flight. Children use the small muscles of their hands to hold the brush or painting utensil and their eye hand coordination to apply the paint to the paper. Language grows as they talk about their work and adults have an opportunity to expand their language repertoire. As children get older, they will talk about what they are painting and can even write a story in their own script and spelling about the work. There are many chances for concept development, such as mixing red and yellow paint to make orange, drawing first geometric shape or noticing some lines are longer than others. The experience of painting expands children’s growth in many ways! They can even participate in the clean-up process and learn important self-help skills. It’s interesting to keep samples of a child’s painting as they grow to watch the development of their skills. Early “scribbles” eventually turn into representational art.