My wife and I teach kindergartners in Sunday School. And every week we offer painting. (Gasp!) Some preschool teachers tell me that they never paint. I understand their reluctance. Painting is messy. Sometimes things get out of control. However, with a little planning and patience, you can overcome the challenges that may arise. So, why paint? Let’s look at some ways that painting helps kids develop both physically and mentally.
Kids use both their arm muscles (gross motor skills) and hand/finger muscles (fine motor skills) as they paint.
Kids experiment with color and begin to understand how colors mix. They develop an understanding of shape, size, and movement. All of these things help develop their aethetic understanding.
Kids communicate their own ideas, using shapes and symbols to show their thinking – this is foundational to writing skills.
Kids grow in observational skills and in symbolic thinking – foundational to reading.
Painting is fun and satisfying. Kids can reflect on what they have learned and express that learning.
Painting can be a solitary activity or a group activity. Kids can develop their social skills and a sense of community when they take turns or work together.
So get out the paint and paper (and smocks!) and have a great time painting with your preschoolers.
What are your experiences with painting and preschoolers?
Note: If you are interested in tips and ways we use painting in my classroom, read "Almost Every Week We Paint" and other posts at my blog Brick by Brick.
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