The following is the text from this section of the 2009-2010 edition of The Joyful Child, Montessori from Birth to Three
To see other sections of this publication return to: http://www.michaelolaf.com/JCcontents.html
AGE 1-3, ART
The truth is that when a free spirit exists, it has to materialize
itself in some form of work, and for this the hands are needed.
Everywhere we find traces of men's handiwork, and through these we can
catch a glimpse of his spirit and the thoughts of his time.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Art is a way of approaching life, of moving and speaking, of decorating
a home and school and oneself, of selecting toys and books. It cannot
be separated from other elements of life.
We cannot teach a child to be an artist, but as Dr. Montessori
says, we can help him develop:
An Eye that Sees
A Hand that Obeys
A Soul that Feels
At this age children are capable of many forms of art, including cutting
and pasting paper, drawing with chalk, black and colored pencils and beeswax
crayons, painting with water color and poster paints, and molding clay.
Avoid felt pens and paints and clay with strong dyes and ingredients that
are too harsh for the very young and sensitive child.
It is fun to do special art projects in the home and infant community,
but even at this young age children benefit from having a variety of art
materials available to them at all times and a space to work, uninterrupted,
when they are inspired.
It is important to provide the best quality that we can affordpencils,
crayons, felt pens, clay, paper, brushesand to teach the child how
to use and care for them, and especially how to clean and put everything
away so everything the work space, the table and chair and the art
materialswill be ready for the next great creative urge.
The quality of the first toy rattles and mobiles is the first intrinsic
lesson of art appreciation for a child.
The same is true of the choice of toys, posters and other art work on
the wall of the child's room and in the rest of the house, the dishes
and cutlery, and the way objects are arranged in baskets on shelves, or
hanging on hookscreating order and beauty.
Every part of the home influences the child's developing sense of beauty
and balance, shape, and color.
Reproductions of great masterpieces inspire an appreciation of beauty
at any age. Great plant and animal art collections can be made from old
calendars. These can be hung at the child's eye level in any part of the
housebedrooms, bathroom, even the laundry room and garage.
© Susan Mayclin Stephenson, 2010 (www.susanart.net)
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