Some of the most significant early childhood learning takes place through art and craft activities. Thus children’s artwork is considered among the major forms of pedagogical documentation. The following article provides information on the importance and strategies of displaying children’s artwork.
Displaying children’s artwork builds their self-esteem. They realize that what they have made is important enough to be chosen and displayed.
- To make the display still more meaningful, involve children in the process of choosing their artwork to be displayed. Also, consider copying their descriptions and placing them below the displayed work.
Displayed artwork helps children understand the growth and direction of their own learning. They realize how they used their art to explore the world around them, how creating it helped them to find answers to some questions like “Where do cyclones come from” and how creating the artwork made them think and wonder more like “How come winds can’t be seen?”. Such displays give children the opportunity to reflect on their own learning; they realize how their learnt new skills and concepts like using curved lines to represent a breeze or draw a windy day.
- As educators, you can further extend the children’s reflective process by including in the display, information in the form of photographs, pictures, or real objects.
Careful arrangement of artwork nurtures a love of beauty which addresses the goals of the aesthetic domain in early childhood learning. Sprawled artwork can clutter rooms and appear shabby.
- Look for aesthetic ways to display artwork and involve children in the process as well.
- Ask children which wall could be used for the display.
- Frame the artwork with coloured construction paper or wallpaper strips. You can even hang things from the tops of windows or the ceiling to add other foci of beauty in the classroom.
As parents and families see such displays, they get a better understanding of what and how their children are learning. They feel a sense of pride in their children’s achievements and explorations as how much their children have learned and grown becomes apparent to parents in a more tangible immediate way. Such displays also provide opportunities for interesting conversations between families and children about what the little ones enjoyed most doing or anything interesting that happened during the activity. It helps parents make connections between learning at home and in the classroom environment for example how interesting it was to rifle through old clothes to pick costumes for a storytelling session in school. In order to engage families better, you can think about documenting panels and photos that depict the process of children creating artwork.
Finally, displaying children’s artwork also helps educators, administrators and other staff to reflect on learning practices and pedagogies. Some questions that you can ponder while displaying children’s artworks are:
- How to decide which artworks to display
- What makes displays attractive and how much to intervene while arranging the artwork
- Who is the display primarily for – children or adults and if the latter, for families or other professionals to what extent artworks should be complemented by comments and notes by Educators.
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Displays Of Childrens Art, Capital E