Tag Archives: creativity


Rethinking Art



I have been challenging the children with ways in which to use paint and in return they have challenged my thinking about art. I will admit I have always thought of art as an endeavour that each of us does individually. We must each express our artistic creativity alone.  Early in May Laura and Eunice challenged that thinking as they worked together on a painting at the art easel.  They had started this collaboration on their own. I had stumbled upon the encounter when I was assisting another child at the art table. I watched with fascination as they painted at times they did not speak to each other but it was like the other understood what needed to happen next. At other times they were deep in joyous conversation about what they were creating. There was something else happening in this moment I couldn’t put my finger on it.

A couple weeks later I observed Asha and Eunice engaged in a similar experience. Mixing colours on the paper with their hands, shades of greens and blues intermingling on the paper. There was much discussion on what to try next.  They used brushes in different ways. The used the opposite end of the brush to etch into the colour. After they were done etching they mixed the paint again with their hands. To me it appeared to be more about the colour then the act of painting.




“We never really perceive what color is physically.”

(Josef Albers)


I as an educator have been in a constant state of reflection because of these collaborative paintings.  I have set up materials in different ways. I have spent time observing how the children paint, how they interact with each other when they collaborate on a painting. I have wondered what colours, materials and settings invite the children to collaborate.

Most importantly the children have me rethinking what art is.

“Working in collaboration leads to a rich dialogue yielding unexpected results.”

(Alexander Gorlizki)


The Pretties Revisited

So the children have embraced the table setting practice. One day when I was getting ready for snack a child offered to help me set the table. I asked her if she wanted to do it herself. She responded enthusiastically with a yes.  I quickly put a tray together of my materials (no shelf yet). She went straight to work. When the other children saw what she was doing they wanted to help but Helen wanted to do it herself. So I asked the children if I should make a sign up sheet.They said yes.

So I quickly created a sign up sheet. At our group meeting that day I let them know I would leave it on the table and they could sign up for a turn. Everyone rushed to sign up.

Each day the children took seriously the task of setting the table. Each child had their own style, some were less is more and some children were of the belief that more is more.

The tray I put together of materials for the children to create a centre piece.
A child setting the table. Notice the beautiful cherry blossoms she brought from home.Another setting with flowers brought from home.



Another setting with flowers brought from home.

We have started a new tradition as well. When we sit down to enjoy our snack at our beautiful table we thank the child who set it.

The parents have gotten excited about it as well. I leave the table set for pick up time. The other day I had a parent take pictures of the table her child set. Parents come with flowers for the table sometimes as well.

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem or saying a prayer. “
Anne Morrow Lindbergh