By Angel Avery-Wright
Art is defined as an unstructured and boundless form of work that expresses creativity and imagination and emphasizes feelings and emotions.
Craft is defined as an activity which involves learned skills and the right use of tools and materials. Crafts are easy to reproduce.
Painting, sculpture, photography, and drawing are considered the main forms of art. Crafts include weaving, carving, pottery, sewing, quilting, and beading.
While teaching children about art, it is important to focus on individuality. Letting children choose the medium they want to use, and the colors, allows them to express their feelings and imagination.
Projects that require children to follow an example are considered crafts and leave little room for imagination.
Adults may see a collage as a mess but to a child it is a masterpiece. Ask the child and he or she will tell you what was made. Writing down what a child says about a piece of artwork he or she has created also encourages vocabulary development.
Handprint and footprint art are enjoyed by parents, but it is not art, it is a craft.
Children need a variety of mediums to work with. Materials for painting, drawing and sculpture should be available to children. Children also like to collage. For very small children, items such as scraps of paper and cardboard tubes are age appropriate. For older children, items such as sequins, pom-poms, cotton balls, stickers, ribbon, googly eyes and glitter can be added to the art area. For school age children, anything that is safe and non-toxic is appropriate.
Materials that should never be used include food items and shaving cream.
Art materials can be creative in and of themselves. Paint a pinecone or paint with a pinecone. Draw on cardboard instead of paper. Use chalk on paper. Use feathers to design a picture. Use your imagination.