In case you missed it, Friday, March 31st was Crayola Crayon Day! As a child, I was always thrilled to receive a new box of crayons. I loved the variety of colors, the smell and the freshly sharpened points.
Crayons are one of the many materials that should be available to children to encourage open-ended art. Open-ended art means that the outcome of the art project is not predetermined. It gives children the control and freedom to create what they want, how they want.
The most common way that young children learn is through interacting with the world around them. By creating open-ended art children are given the opportunity to explore their senses; they can see what happens when colors combine, hear the sound of crinkling tissue paper, smell the saltiness of play dough and touch the stickiness of glue.
Children love open art because it's fun and it provides them opportunities to express themselves. Children must learn how to identify and communicate their emotions. Creating open-ended art gives the child control to do that.
Art also provides children important skills for living. Open art encourages children to learn about planning and problem solving. Crayons are among the many materials that encourage open-ended art. Children can plan what materials they would like to use and how they would like to use them.
Lastly, creating art allows children to develop their fine motor skills. These are the same skills necessary for buttoning a shirt, holding a pencil to write, turning a page while reading and using utensils to eat.
Here is a list of materials that encourage open-ended art:
- Colored pencils
- Construction paper
- Tissue paper
- Pipe cleaners
- Ink pads
- Fabric scraps
- Cotton balls
It’s not too late, celebrate Crayola Crayon Day by creating some open-ended art with your child today!