Monday, February 7, 2011

Art vs Craft

This topic is something that I've been struggling with for a while now.
I know and appreciate the value of letting children explore and experience different art mediums.  Watching them discover what they can do with the materials versus following a model.
But I've discovered this past week that a craft can have many positive and fun results.

Last Wednesday was Groundhog Day and I had found this really cute craft from Let's Go Fly a Kite
that I couldn't resist providing for my families even after much back and forth in my mind about the value of it.

Well I learned that it held alot of value.

1. Families enjoy making something they recognize at the end.
2. So much language can happen while making a craft.  Following a set of instruction is a prelude to reading.
3. The fun and excitement of playing with the craft when it's made.
4. Sharing experiences and making connections.
This little guy's grandma started to sing "All around the Mulberry Bush" and when she go to the part when "the monkey thought it was all in fun but ____" she waited and pushed the groundhog up out of the cup.  He said "pop!"  The rest of the morning he walked around playing with his groundhog and saying "Pop, Pop".
5. Extensions - I added flashlights at the table so they could try to see their groundhog's shadow.  But it was too bright in the room.  I quickly grab a big box and called it the "Groundhog Hole".
Children that didn't even make the craft crawled into the box and played with the light.
 Making the spotlight small and then big again.

What a great morning of learning for me.

1 comment:

  1. I think I struggled with whether we should even attempt "crafts" rather than open-ended art experiences. But, I'm with you- as long as you evaluate what the children will truly be learning (rather than just doing it because it is "cute") I think it can be a very positive experience and involve quite a bit of learning! Oh- I also always try to be careful to examine whether the children will actually be able to DO the project- rather than having an adult do it.