In Playgroup, we are all about building confidence.
One way we have been assisting the Kingfisher and Ladybird children in building their confidence was by giving them choices. Now this does not mean that children have the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Freedom within certain limits is a healthy way to promote things like problem solving, decision making and responsibility. When you give a child the power of choice, it helps them feel like they have control over what they do. If decisions are always made for children, like what toy they should play with, how they should play with certain toys, how they should dance and how they should paint, how will this help their confidence in making choices?
One of the areas where we are giving them the power of choice is their art experiences. With art, the focus is more on the process of creating rather than the final product. We do not know how the artwork is going to turn out because more importance is placed on the children creating the art and how they choose to.
We provided small squeeze bottles of paint for the little hands to wrap around so they can choose how little or how much paint they needed while working on their fine motor skills. If they squeezed out all the paint, they would then know how much paint fits inside the bottle. This is an early math concept of capacity.
Some children chose to use their hands and spread the paint all around the paper or in some cases, their hands and arms. Others decided they only wanted to use the tools that were set out to paint, whether it was a paintbrush, a toy spider or a shuttlecock. There were a few who just wanted to watch others paint. We respect that decision as we want them to feel safe and comfortable with the materials before exploration starts.