This online collection includes a variety of art created by three and four-year-olds at the JMU Young Children's Program. Art experiences at the YCP offer children opportunities to explore many different media with an emphasis on creativity and self-expression. J MU student staff members from the ECED 372: Introduction to Early Childhood Education and IECE 422: Teaching Young Children courses support children's growth by planning and conducting art activities during the semester they participate in the program.
"We like the touch of wet paint and the feel of warm play dough. Sometimes we prefer to use our senses and just explore the art materials that are provided. That could mean just spreading glue or smearing paint with our hands. We may get so caught up in the sensory qualities of the art materials that we forget to make something."
"In art there is no right or wrong, no good or bad. Rightness is when the materials you use exactly express your idea. ONLY YOU can be the judge of that."
"What I have heard from creative people over the years is that their early urges toward unique self-expression were respected and supported by some loving adult in their young life -- someone who would even let them paint a tree blue if that's what they felt like doing."
"The goal is to allow children to become fluent with materials -- as if materials were a language."
--Cathy Topal & Lella Gandini
Art Talk: Developing Visual & Verbal Literacy
This article by Margaret Johnson offers helpful ideas for talking with young children about their art.