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Thinking Creatively Education News from Alleyn's | www.alleyns.org.uk Sarah Hoskins, teacher of Art and Design Technology at Alleyn’s Junior School, tells us why Art is not just fun but also important for your child’s development. hen you watch a child drawing or painting, you see their total absorption as they concentrate on creating something from nothing. Using just one’s imagination and creativity to express a thought, a feeling or an idea is a wonderful process, and a skill we should nurture in our children. Art fosters experimentation more than many other activities. It gives children the freedom and choice to create something that is unique to them and this can lead to a strong sense of ownership and pride. Creativity has been linked with wellbeing, and the more children explore their individual identity and develop their sense of self, the more content they will be. The ability to think creatively also benefits your child in their academic studies and their future career. Art activities improve children’s fine motor skills, which in turn help develop their handwriting skills. In addition, drawing, painting and sculpting help develop visual-spatial processing skills, which are beneficial to both mathematics and reading.

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Getting Started Art is a fun activity and getting creative with your child is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time together. Remember: • Use as many different materials as possible. Junk modelling encourages your child to be resourceful and creative. You just need Sellotape, glue, and paint – along with whatever you find in your recycling bag. • Try using their favourite picture or story as a creative impetus and use sites like Pinterest for other ideas. • Let your child experiment – even if you think what they’re doing isn’t a great idea – some of their results will surprise you! • Accept that being creative will be messy and put down a cloth or newspaper. • Try to get along to galleries and museums (not just 20 | SE22 - January 2022

the large ones) so that your child can appreciate artists and crafts people from different cultures and eras. Many galleries also offer lower-cost or free activities for families as well as creative stimuli on their websites (see the links below).

Helping The Process Your child doesn’t need to create a masterpiece! The process and the skills they learn during the creative activity are more important than the result. Let them choose the direction that their artwork will take but ask them questions about their work as it progresses. If their work doesn’t go as they planned help them to problem, solve or take a new direction. Remember that there are no wrong answers in art. In fact, making mistakes can be liberating and present new and exciting opportunities. If you build in regular time for your child to be creative at home, having fun with art could become an expressive outlet you both look forward to.

Useful Links • www.nationalgallery.org.uk/events/families • www.tate.org.uk/kids • www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/learning/ Art Play and Let’s Make Some Great Art books, both by Marion Deuchars.