Art Fun!

February 13, 2010

Mishy using tissue paper for drip painting

We’ve been researching pre-schools which has been emotionally draining since I love being with Mishy. What is the rush? What has been useful in attending the pre-school tours? Seeing their facilities and what their program offers. Most are centered around creative development primarily through art which lead me to read Bev Bos – thank you, Ninette, a mother of two, for the recommendation! Bev Bos is an educator, grandmother of four and mother of five. She is the director of the Roseville Cooperative Preschool in Roseville, California. She has several books published which all extends her child-centered techniques. Her first book, Don’t Move The Muffin Tins, a hands-off guide to art for the young child.

Mishy exploring tissue paper.

Here are condensed versions of her rules which are in the book.

Rule #1: Don’t interfere. Forget how you intended the art materials to be used. There is no right or wrong in art, just creation.

Rule #2: Try one yourself. Build a trial version in your set up. You’ll be much more at ease with your child’s first attempt.

Rule #3: Put the child first. Each day is special to a child. When a child asks for materials that are alternatives to what you’ve set out, provide those materials.

Rule #4: Avoid models. Never make a model to show to a child. Let them create without the intimidation of a model.

Rule #5: Respect a name. If they want to put their name on their creation, let them find the place and how they want it to look, even if it’s spelled backwards.

Rule #6: Art of young children should be “instant.” A young child wants to see immediate results.

Rule #7: Spread the word. Orient parents to a child-centered approach. Make it clear you don’t want “art” produced for your benefit, but rather a program that is aimed at developing your child’s creativity.

Rule #8: No leaping, please! Adults leap upon a child when something starts to spill, tip over, all from the table, or simply begins to go in a direction different from the one the adult expected. Gently, gently, guide and suggest.

Rule #9: Don’t feel guilt. You may have guilt when applying child-centered art because you may have done crafts to the exclusion of art, guilt because you haven’t nurtured your child’s creativity enough – don’t do it. Start now with your children, grandchildren, adults you know, start with yourself.

Rule #10: discourage “good” clothes. “Go to a thrift shop, buy your child two outfits for school. Then you’ll not be upset when the clothes come home with paint all over them.” To heck with aprons.


Don’t Shake The Muffin Tin by Bev Bos

Mishy's foot print art w/ marker details

Friends over for their own art exploration

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