Making the art process easier isn’t always the right choice in preschool

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As part of a transportation unit, the children in this class explored how the flow of wind helps a hot air balloon move across the sky. To build on the concept of wind, the children tried a little blow-painting on their hot air balloons…

The children put a spoonful of paint on their paper balloons then used a straw to blow the paint around the paper…

When the children started, they all struggled with their ability to blow through the straw to make the paint move. My initial reaction was to think of ways to make this process easier. I thought that perhaps we should water down the paint a bit or provide longer straws…

But then I began to notice how the children were not giving up. Instead they continued to work at positioning their straws, their bodies, and their paper until they found just the right combination to blow the paint across the paper…

Once the children would get a little bit of movement in the paint, they began to understand what they needed to do and they continued to add more paint and blow through the straws…

It was only after I stood back and just observed the children that I realized that this was not about making a pretty design on a hot air balloon. Instead, this was about conquering the process of moving that paint by blowing through a straw….

I was reminded how children are capable conquering challenging processes. I was reminded of how children just need time to explore the process so they can find their own path to success. As the children explored this process, their teacher provided a little guidance and some encouragement to keep trying. It wasn’t long before each of the children were quite proficient at making the paint move…

Sometimes, making the process easier isn’t what the children need. I am glad that I didn’t interfere…

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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