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A Colourful Early Learning Journey

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” - Picasso

It took me a while to ‘get it’ - the kids art that is.  As I said, my husband loved the kids art and was passionate about keeping it.  On top of that my mother-in-law was a kindergarten teacher and my sister-in-law a Director of a Melbourne Early Learning Centre.  Both my husband and his sister were brought up to appreciate their art – that it wasn’t just scribbles on paper – it was a significant part of their early childhood education.

Ask a kinder teacher and they will tell you that a child’s art speaks volumes.  It tells them how a child is starting to understand themselves and their surroundings.  A young 3yo at kinder might first draw themselves as one a big round circle representing the face and the body.  Then as the early learning education continues they would start to draw themselves with two circles, one for the head and one for the body.  Then those circles gain arms, then legs, then hands and then fingers. 

Those big brushstroke paintings on butchers paper are a peek into your child’s mind and imagination.  What I saw as just big brushstrokes was in fact a dinosaur.  Their young developing motor skills might deter them from finer detail but these big brushstrokes are just as much a dinosaur as a detailed one – am I the only one who didn’t know or appreciate this?

This early childhood art is part of a child’s first expression. I have learned if a child is painting on part of the paper or the whole page or bold strokes or fine strokes this is all important information.  Information that an early childhood educator can translate and use as an indicator of a child’s development.

The easel is also a childs ‘happy place’ - with the smock on, a big paintbrush and permission to go crazy.  I used to love picking the kids up from kinder and see them covered in paint or sand or just dirty – because I was a bit of a stick in the mud with the paints at home – too much stress about the mess.  So mums and dads this is why they get so upset when we throw out their paintings.  They loved making them it was fun and we threw out their fun!   It is also a big achievement for them, they could spend a whole session on their rocket.  Their hard work on their artwork is important to them and in learning this it became important to me.

I describe the ArtRooms art collages as visual documentation of an early childhood education.  I have been educated on the importance of childrens art and I now see a different picture in the same painting.  I have an 88 image ArtRooms artwork in my kitchen - a collective piece of my three children and of course I absolutely love it. I am so happy these creations are not landfill but now fill my home with memories of every colour.  I know when I’m 80 I will still just stare at it.  A chair and a coffee beside this artwork will be my happy place. 

I now ‘get it’