At the Gap Kindergarten & Child Care Centre we are fortunate to have visual art classes with a former educator and artist Gill Duncan. Gill is a past staff member who used to work with Kate, our Kindergarten Teacher, in the Kindergarten room. She has spent a lot of time formally and informally attending visual art classes. On the creative side she now practices predominately as a Sculptor.

Gill engages the Kindergarten children so they can explore art together. The children engage in a variety of planned enriching art experiences in two and three dimensional models.

Art is an important part of early childhood development as it is a fun way to express ideas, the confidence and enjoyment that stems from purposeful visual art activities. It also can have a positive effect on children’s learning. Children are natural creators and experimenting with art materials helps them to develop mentally, socially and emotionally. Creating leads to problem solving, promotes fine motor skills, focusing on a task, confidence and self-control. There are also opportunities for self-regulation, risk taking, perseverance and collaboration.

In the classes we explore materials, techniques and processes. Gill engages with the children to participate in pre-planned activities. These are chosen to give the children a wide range of experiences. Some will require little direction, and some will be supported by adults, we also work individually and as a large group focusing on our natural environment and our connection to the land.

There’s lots to learn on how to foster your child’s creativity at home. In Early Childhood we talk about The Process. The Process is when children just have fun creating – there doesn’t have to be an end result or ‘Product’. The great part about this is children can spend hours just doing, and there’s very little adult intervention needed. Setting up a place for your child to draw and create is a great way for them to have a space of their own to go to when they feel like it. Supply them with plain paper and card, boxes, coloured pencils, scissors, cellotape, paint etc, these items are a great way to start and to let children explore their own ideas.