Hi everyone, my name is Sunny Wilder, and I am so excited to be teaching Art at the Infant Toddler Center! As a former ITC co-teacher, I have the good fortune to be familiar with the children and their abilities, and I use that knowledge to enhance their experience in our art classes. Recently, we engaged in several art explorations, all drawing from the concept of sensory development and the intake of information.
During the first week of November, we did a sensory exploration of materials such as clay, wood, paper, and cloth, and used them to build. The guiding questions for this introductory project were all centered around observing the weather and preparing for the winter, with plenty of content and vocabulary adapted from their classroom project work. The questions we posed to the children included:
“What temperature does the earth feel like under your hands and feet?”
“Where are the animals going to be when it gets colder?”
“How do they stay warm?”
With this inspiration, we built animals and different kinds of homes for the animals. Throughout the second week of November, we delved into stamping as an exercise in motor skills, muscle strength, and sensory intake. We put clay into bowls and let the children press stamps and wood pieces into the clay to create small sculptures, which they later painted. When clay dries, it shrinks away from what is around it – in this instance, the bowl – leaving a clay block sculpture.
All through the third week of November, we carried the sensory exploration forward and examined what would happen if we drew and stamped on a stretch of cloth, creating a tapestry. Each class has contributed one day of drawing and one day of painting to the tapestry and gotten to experience the way the cloth changes as supplies dry into it.
During this last week of November, we shifted from analyzing three-dimensional textures to two-dimensional textures through the use of watercolor paint and wax crayons. We will have a sensory and scientific exploration to find out what kinds of textures and sounds we can make by drawing with crayons on canvas board. We also observed what effect those textures will have on the application of watercolor paint to the canvas board. The wax from the crayons repelled the watercolors, creating an interesting artistic effect.
As you can see, Art class for infants and toddlers is not just an opportunity for children to express themselves in the “100 languages of children,” but also a time for building motor skills, learning new words, making comparisons, using their five senses and gaining a greater understanding of the world around them. It’s a pleasure to introduce art making to our youngest learners!
Sunny Wilder, ITC Art Teacher