It is common knowledge that children are playful and need to explore and play, build and create, but how often do we associate this with their brain development?
A playful childhood isn’t just fun, it is imperative to creating a fully developed brain. Research states that “the prime time to develop specific knowledge, skills, and competencies is in the first few years of a child’s life” (EarlyArts). Burnadette Duffy (2006) further expounds that “by encouraging creativity and imagination, we are promoting children’s ability to explore and comprehend their world and increasing their opportunities to make new connections and reach new understandings.” Creativity and opportunity for activities that promote imagination also build children’s self esteem and personalities. There is also a connection between musical experiences and mathematical processing. David Sousa, a Florida Superintendent, acknowledged that the most powerful effects are found in programs that integrate the arts with subjects in the core curriculum, suggesting that “arts integration causes both students and teachers to rethink how they view the arts and generates conditions that are ideal for learning.”
We know this, so how do we implement this fully? Here is a Resource Roundup of ten awesome sites with hundreds of arts integrated activities and lessons for early childhood education. Enjoy!
KinderArt gathered and listed multiple preschool/early childhood education art lesson plans. Their activities are best suited for ages 2 to 5 years.
Education.com offers a full list of preschool arts and crafts activities. They have hundreds of crafts for creativity, with a mix of crafts and actual arts lessons.
Art and Creativity in Childhood operates under the knowledge that art is good brain food. They know that art engages children’s senses in open-ended play and develops cognitive, social-emotional and multi-sensory skills and have build activities that foster childhood development.
Early Childhood Teacher has compiled a list of free online resources to help keep your teaching tools sharp and up-to-date.
We are Teachers provides 5 High-Impact, Low-Prep Activities for Creative Arts in Early Childhood that are sure to be the most impactful part of your curriculum.
Typhani Harris is a dance educator and mentor teacher who has been on the boards of both the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD) and California Dance Education Association (CDEA). Recently, she has made a cross-country move and is now an instructional coach in Brooklyn, New York. Having begun as a high school English teacher, it has been her mission to bring theory and research into the traditional dance class, and in 2009 she won the Music Center’s Bravo award for excellence in Arts Education. Typhani is currently on a mission to help teachers Stop Teaching and Start Reaching their students, check out the unTeacher Lab at stopteaching.org