Teacher-directed vs. child-directed art has long been a hot topic in early childhood. Teachers and providers usually understand the importance of keeping art projects age-appropriate and child-focused, but many parents pressure them to offer crafts that are cute, theme-related, and showcase-worthy. Some teachers avoid all mass-produced crafts while others struggle with freestyle art because some children do not stay engaged long without specific instruction.
by Kelley Jilek
Children are naturally curious. They ask “Why?” and “What’s that?” several times a day, they take things apart, they wonder how things work, they are drawn to new things, and “messes” seem to find them within a matter of minutes. What a wonderful, exciting way to spend a day! Imagine having the natural desire to learn, explore, discover, and understand. Children have this drive. Curiosity can be sustained throughout life, leading to a lifelong love of learning. Here are a few things parents and providers can do to nourish children’s curiosity: