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Drawing Skills, Creativity Etc


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Hi!

With regards creative activities we always try to avoid going down the 'Fluffy Duck Syndrome' route and give children lots of different options to be creative with a good range of materials but I'm getting a bit confused as to what is right and wrong to 'teach' the children? For example, is it wrong to show children how they might draw a person or demonstrate how they could make a flower using petal shape pieces of card (not pre-cut for them - showing them how to cut them out etc)? I have done some reading into the development of drawing and 'Fluffy Duck Syndrome' but am started to be worried about showing the children how to draw or make things in case I'm ruining their creativity?

We recently had a group a people in doing a clay activity with the children (whole-school thing) - all the children made the same thing, although they were able to choose the tools and how many marks they made etc. The children REALLY enjoyed it and have been practising their new 'skills' on the play-dough table to create different things.

Just wondering what others thoughts are? Is it just about finding a balance and demonstrating NOT telling children that they haven't done something right if it doesn't quite look like the adult version (cringe!)?

Thanks

Green Hippo x

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I definitely think a bit of demonstrating is required with SOME children.

Some children just seem to find creativity easy and can go with the flow, others just need a little direction/help as it doesn't come easily to them.

My daughter who was the last of the foundation stage years had quite structured sessions, and although doesn't enjoy it will have ago at anything asked of her.

My son who had EYFS (same teacher) and had the total opposite experience of just go with the flow do what you want, didn't 'get it' and so went through Reception hardly ever going near the craft table and even now 2 years on, struggles with any area of creativity until the teacher helps and guides him.

I think it depends on the child.

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Well, we get taught these things in primary school and secondary school, so I dont see why we cant teach how to do certain things. I remember my grandad showing me how to do shading with a pencil and so everything I did had to have shading afterwards. I was taught how to use different materials, calligraphy, silkscreen printing, modelling, technical drawing and loads of other stuff. If I'd been left to my own devices I wouldnt have learnt any of it.

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I agree with both ways - a good balance is best - yesterday a member of staff emphasised how good it was that the easter crafts were the childrens own work - something i had been trying to get across to her to allow them to do it - later she said how difficult she found it as she always wants to correct it or make it neater !!

we learn new skills by watching or being taught and then at least we have them if we wish to use them - every child is unique :D

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I like to have a bit of everything on offer - so a few pre-cuts, a few drawn uncut templates, plain paper/card etc. I'm even more than happy with lots of precut petals shapes! ................ then just let them get on with it - I always throw in a couple of 'suggestions/samples', (not all perfect though).

 

I trained in the fashion industry- and we certainly didn't start with a totally blank canvass. You need something to give inspiration in the first place.

 

We have an official 'cr**' box (I might add the children call it the red box :P :P :P ) Which the children often choose to access for totally freedom of thought!

 

I once did some staff cover in a very posh/expensive daycare setting were the child we allowed no adult input what-so-ever - No child ever went near the creative table during the sessions I was there - in the end I did a bit of 'adult directed' to get them interested (and they were)............. and was politely asked not to do it again!!

This setting had plain white walls, with 'inspiration' text written across them (one was even a Walt Disney quote) Not one piece of child's work was displayed......although they were some convention framed paintings of houses/trees - children style- but obviously done by adults (perfect scale etc) in the reception area. I can honest say it was the weirdest place I have ever worked- and the children were totally uncontrollable and badly behaved.

Actually now I come to think about it............they wouldn't actually have anything to display anyway- 'cos the children never did anything :huh: :huh:

 

I had totally forgotten about that episode in my life until now... :huh: :huh: :huh: .....hhmmm, t'was a very strange place indeed.

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Thanks for all your comments and advice - it has really helped. Louby-loo - could you explain your 'red box' in more detail please?

I'm reassured to hear that you all do a bit of demonstrating and even provide some templates etc. I think that sometimes children need to be given that initial idea, a suggestion, a simple model then they have something to base their ideas on. I often find that the children that enjoy using the creative area are the children that have lots of experience of it at home and that their parents or carers have shown them different ideas. Those children that don't use it often just need a suggestion and a little bit of support to get them going.

Thanks again

Green Hippo x

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Well it's just a box of interesting junk really.... chocolate box ribbons, odd pieces of pretty/interesting wrapping paper, bits of broken jewelry, buttons, sequins, etc, and often bits of left overs from previous adult led activities. It is truly just left bits of toot!

 

I love watching what the children do with the left over adult led stuff a couple of days after the activity was run- that is when I feel some of the most creative work can be observed....... they seem to take from what they 'learnt' then add their own creativity to it.

x

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I find it fascinating to see what they produce from things they see in the scrap paper from the photocopier I put in our making area. I once put in a couple of body outlines (from accident forms) and a boy and a girl got together, added claws, teeth and pointy ears to turn it into a vampire werewolf type creature then they each added labels to it (they'd shared the same picture). What I loved in particular was that although they wrote labels for the same things - head and claws the way they wrote them was a perfect illustration of their very different levels for phonic knowledge and writing. It wasn't something I'd ever thought of.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We too have a drawer in our Messy Trolley full of interesting bits for collage or junk modelling. We labeled it 'Bits for Sticking' and all sorts of bits make their way into it, lollipop sticks, fake jewels, beads, buttons, sticky shapes, straws, ribbons, paper pulp balls and eggs (left over from easter crafts) shredded paper, pompoms, leftover paper shapes, anything goes really.

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