Art is one of those times when even the most laid back of children seem to want everything to be perfect. They have an idea in their head about how they want their project to look and when it does not meet expectations it cause them to think they have failed.
Which is not the lesson we want children to get from art.
I started thinking about this when I was attempting to create the library bags my class will be using in the new year for checking out books. I had an idea in my head and I became upset because it didn't look perfect. I burned a bag completely and the iron got stuck to another bag. Thank goodness there were two extras in my Amazon order!
I hope that I am not giving off the impression that every project is perfect. Because for me it is important that you can see that everyday work in a family child care home is not always sunshine and roses. There are hard days even for those of us who love our jobs. One activity that seemed to go off the rails more than I wanted was the Stamp Printing art activity. The children enjoyed watching how stamp art was created and were very excited to try making their own.
One thing that must remembered when it comes to children's art is that they have to be allowed to make their own decisions. It can be hard to let them keep going when you see it going sideways, but if we want them to build confidence in their own decision making abilities we have to let them keep going. I do make suggestions, but I have a classroom full of strong minded, sure individuals. This is code for they think I'm always wrong lol.
The stamp making project didn't really work because the children had to build their own stamps and the prints were not coming out. I tried to explain that we shouldn't put too much paint down but it didn't really work out.
This was the final product. They were not happy. They abandoned it within minutes. Someone built a stamp castle.
This was a teachable moment. We started to talk about how it was ok if their projects do not come out the way we want them too. As long as you tried and you like it, then you did a good job. We also talked about the importance of following directions and why we do it. They spent the rest of the day giving each other pep talks about various games and projects. Including while they played school. It was adorable.
Teaching children that sometimes they will fail but the important part is that they do not give up, that they practice and try again is a valuable lesson. A lesson that can be learned with art or with the Mother Goose Time Journal covers.
Keeping Trying and.....
Live Long and Keep Teaching!