One of my favourite things to do at STA is to go downstairs at the 3:15 when all of our peanuts have gone home and take a look at all of the art that has been created during the day.
Many school readiness skills can be practiced through art and craft projects. Skills like cutting and gluing require more than just scissors and glue. The kids need to understand concepts like spreading glue or how much glue to use, then they need to be able to sequence picking up the glued paper, turning it over, and pushing it onto the other piece. Cutting requires a lot of hand strength, hand-eye coordination, and motor skills to cut on a line. Rather than having our kids sit at tables and practice cutting boring shapes and lines we turn them into art and craft opportunities.
Lately, the trend seems to be snowmen. Perhaps our staff were inspired by the recent and upcoming weather in Calgary.
These snowmen have all involved cutting or drawing circles, gluing objects, and following instructions from an adult or teacher. The interesting thing about all of these snowmen is that each turns out totally different from the rest. It could be googley eyes, cotton balls, glitter, real branches, or hand drawn details but every snowman is different from the next.
In the end, each kid practices a skill that every teacher who has ever had to hand back work before can appreciate; they write their names somewhere on the sheet! Not all of the kiddos are quite ready for printing so they get some help from their staff but in the end all of the art work gets a name and the kids get to practice taking responsibility for and labeling their work.