How exposing children to modern arts supports Creative Expression and Entrepreneurial Mindset
Children are creative by nature and they respond to contemporary arts with great enthusiasm. They can also easily relate to modern art because they are more focused on the process of creation than the final product and they understand that the outcome is very often a result of their inner journey, which can take them to unexpected places. Introducing children to contemporary arts is a very effective method to support their creativity, social-emotional development and finally boosting their entrepreneurial spirit.
Benefits of exposing children to contemporary arts
Inspiring Creative Expression
Children enjoy being exposed to contemporary arts and they very easily get inspired with the things they see or experience. Then, they immediately wish to explore their own creativity and engage themselves in creative process. Whether it’s an art exhibition, museum visit, project they see in photographs or videos children usually like to explore methods, techniques, materials or resources used by artists. This way children take responsibility for their own learning and development planning suitable experiences for themselves and choosing approaches that seem the most inspiring to them. They develop awareness of what they want and need and how to get there.
By participating in the activities they plan for themselves children will often decide to take manageable risks, which in turn helps them stretch their skills and boost their confidence. Educators should respond to children’s suggestions by offering required resources and planning the environment in a way that all children can explore their creativity.
Boosting “Can-do” spirit
Contemporary arts may be surprising and shocking especially when it looks like it doesn’t require much artistic skills or mastering special techniques. Children will easily notice it and will often find similarities between what they see on exhibitions and their own creations. This is a perfect confidence booster and if supported by teachers will help children develop positive self-esteem and the “can do spirit”.
“If an artist becomes famous and admired by painting a single red dot on a canvas why can’t I?” – this is a sample conclusion that many children arrive to after visiting a contemporary arts exhibition.
Children should be encouraged to feel that they are artists already no matter what kind of result they achieve and that one day, if they wished to pursue this path, their work could also be considered as valuable masterpiece. Contemporary arts is an excellent means to boosting children’s confidence and to helping them understand that everyone already is an artist and can produce masterpieces and there will always be someone who appreciates their creativity and find it inspiring.
Nurturing Entrepreneurial Mindset
Showing children that it is possible to make money from the results of one’s creative expression opens up the whole new world for them. While early years children will still grasp the concept, it will definitely appeal more to school children. They will already know they can exchange money for goods and that one can earn money for their work.
To children modern arts may often seem a very easy entrepreneurial opportunity as they already feel that they work can be very similar in nature and in quality to those artists selling their masterpieces. This very fact itself might be a sufficient confidence booster and supporting such belief might help children develop motivation to try to fulfill their potential, master their skills and make use of their talents. Eventually, such motivation might turn into dedication and strong belief to pursue one’s own path in life.
Ways to introduce children to Contemporary Arts
Offering various ways of introducing children to modern arts helps them experience different sides of it and find the paths they like best.
Museums, art exhibitions and other places of inspiration
Taking children to museums, indoor or outdoor art exhibitions provides a chance to experience arts considered as masterpieces worth attention and while exploring children can find out whether they feel similar about what they see and experience. In museums or outdoor/indoor exhibitions there is usually plenty of place to wander around and the whole trip seems more like a quest. In fact, you can turn it to a quest and ask children to find the weirdest, the most beautiful, the scariest, the ugliest etc. pieces on the exhibition.
It is important to ask children about their private opinions while working with contemporary arts as this way you show them that opinions can be subjective and people have rights to differ. Also, asking children about their views about modern art exhibits makes them feel important and shows them that the fact that one masterpiece has been considered beautiful does not mean everybody needs to share the same view.
Whenever you take your children to an art exhibition it’s best to skip the factual aspect of it as at this stage of development they are not yet ready to fully process such information unless it’s something very curious. Instead it’s better to focus on children’s opinions, encourage discussions and ask children for their own interpretation and understanding of what they see. This will stimulate their creativity even further and may easily turn into a creative story telling, role plays, discussions, word plays and so much more – all inspired by the uniqueness of the exhibit.
Loose parts and every day objects
Another great way to expose children to modern arts is to introduce everyday objects to show children that creative ideas and designs can be turned into unique objects that we use in our daily life. Perfect examples of such objects are IKEA products which due to their catchy colours, quality, modern touch, unique and quirky shapes and functions are generally very appealing to children. However, you should be able to easily find inspiring loose parts in other places too.
You can dedicate a section/table/space in your setting where you regularly display variety of objects and loose parts to play with and from which children can freely create. It doesn’t need to be a special structured session, even better if you just offer space and resources and plenty of time for children to take the lead. This will be enough to open the door to child-led and self-directed learning and creating.
Creating modern art masterpieces
Exhibitions inspire children to use their imagination and to explore their creativity. They will usually be so inspired after museum visits that they want to start working on their own projects immediately. You can support this by offering space and resources and by making sure there is no time or goal pressure. Children may naturally wish to exhibit their projects and you may organise a modern art exhibition on the premises. Another great method is to prepare a set of treasure boxes filled with bric-a-brac and encourage children to use them to create their own modern arts exhibits, which can be later interpreted by the whole group.
Magical journey of self-discovery
Modern arts can be inspiration for children to look for new ways of expressing themselves. As educator you need to approach it with great flexibility and allow yourself to be taken on a magical journey by your children. They will show you what tools and contexts they need to create their own masterpieces and will invite you to join them on the way. Doing so will take you into the magical world of never-ending creations which might or might not have any special meaning or purpose from children’s perspective. What makes the journey meaningful, however, is the fact they can express themselves and by doing so learn more about themselves and the world.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
To help you stimulate creative expression on a daily basis using Active Experiential Learning strategies, Natural Born Leaders has launched a new teacher support programme ACTIVE LEARNING BOOSTER.
It’s a self-paced hands-on online training programme for Early Years and Primary Teachers who are ready to offer Future-Oriented Education based on Active Experiential Holistic Learning and Development.
You can access the first training module for FREE.Share this: