02 Sep

We have had a very busy month of August in the Tumbling Tides room! We have had many of our friends have a birthday which has been very exciting and involved lots of cake! Yum! We really love being able to celebrate with each of our friends when they have an exciting event happen in their lives.

The children have been very excited about our new pet fish, or both of them! Queen Elsa was our first pet fish but she got very sick and so we had to get a new fish, which the children decided to name Princess Anna, of course! They were very inquisitive about what happened to Queen Elsa and we spoke about how it was ok to feel sad that our fish had died but we got to be excited about our new fish. The children have been taking turns to feed her and we love to watch her swim around the fish tank.

The Tumbling Tides friends have been working very hard on a new project based on a favourite book of ours; ‘Stuck’ by Oliver Jeffers. ‘Stuck’ is the story of Floyd and “It all began when Floyd got his kite stuck in a tree. He tried pulling and swinging but it wouldn’t come unstuck.”. Floyd then throws a wild variety of things into the tree in an effort to get his kite back like a duck, a ladder, a curious whale and his cat Mitch just to name a few.

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We are creating our own huge ‘Stuck’ tree on our classroom wall and are doing some wonderful craft relating to each item in the story that Floyd tossed into the tree and inevitably gets stuck! So far we have made paddle pop stick ladders, kites, drawn our own Mitch and laced up some paper shoes. We are very excited to continue this project and can’t wait to see the finished product!

Our friends are becoming excellent artists and we have been talking about what an artist, we’ve learnt that it is someone that draws pictures or uses paint. We have been using our artists eyes to look at our world to find things to draw, paint and create. We’ve been focusing on our drawing skills, which allows the children to notice details and communicate their feelings, ideas and representations.

We have completed still life drawings of our pet fish and our favourite toys. The children looked very closely and noticed the shapes, colours and details of these objects. We have also drawn some self portraits of ourselves.  We have been very impressed at the amount of effort the children have been putting into these experiences and amazed at their finished objects. You should all be proud of how artistic your children are!

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These skills will continue to develop as they practice. Even though many of the children’s drawings look a lot like a swirl or a scribble, this is all part of their developing drawing skills. Every child is different and when it comes to their artwork there are some clear stages which nearly all kids pass through along the way. And it is lovely to be able to pick up on these stages as they are reached, whenever that is.

So, if you’re interested, here they are!

First Stage

The first stage is simple scribbling. This is the typical output of a two or three-year old and this is not really about the result on the page! Instead it’s all about the enjoyment of the process. The more kids scribble, the more fun they have. And if they are using paint, then it’s even more fun. It certainly has been in over the last month! All the while they are tuning their motor and pen skills, enjoying the process and effect of changing colours and paints, and generally having a ball. Keeping this stuff is as much a memory of the creative process as the creation itself.

 

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Second Stage

The second stage to spot is the appearance of round shapes – it’s a pleasing and natural mechanical action to create something round on a page, and often kids can spend many proud hours creating these shapes alongside their normal vigorous scribbling and painting.

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Third Stage

It is around this time the third stage happens. Kids will often, all of a sudden sometimes, identify in the round or scribbled or painted shapes they are creating a resemblance to something they know. It might be a sun, a house, a rainbow, or Mummy and Daddy. They’ll tell you what they’ve created. This will be the first time they have put onto paper something they know, and if you can capture this stage it’s a wonderful thing to keep and look back on. Not to say, of course, that right after this they won’t go straight back to having fun – they do. They’re kids. But there is usually a pride and curiosity in having produced something recognisable on the page. Sooner or later they start to build on this.

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Fourth Stage

In the fourth stage, typically around the ages of four or five – faces and people appear. Hilariously for parents, pictures of people nearly always start without any body at all – so the arms and legs spring straight out of the head.Childrens-Art-stage-4

Fifth Stage

After that, stage five. At ages five, six and seven, pictures start to sit on a baseline and include houses, families, cars, bikes, holidays, flowers, trees – whatever is prominent in the child’s mind at the time. The images are depicted ‘as known’ rather than ‘as seen’ – so there is no perspective or scale involved.

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Sixth Stage

Perspective and scale – stage six – typically starts to appear at eight, nine and ten, and then all of a sudden drawing and painting can feel harder and less spontaneous as a consequence. Other things happen at this point too – an increase in a kid’s ability to self-appraise, and an increase in the importance of fitting in with their peers and following the pack. And so, sadly, if there hasn’t been much encouragement or appreciation of what they’ve created over the years, then this is often the point when lots of kids can decide they’re not good enough at creating artwork and lose their confidence and enjoyment, at least for a while.

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We thoroughly encourage you to provide your children with as many opportunities to be creative and use their imagination as you can. Not only do they love it but they gain so much from being able to freely explore and develop their artistic understanding and skills.