October 2017

Wisconsin Montessori Creative Art Activities

Everyone is an artist!

 “… an eye that can see, a hand that is at command, and a mind that can think.”
  -- Dr. Maria Montessori

Montessori School Creative Arts

These are the components needed in order to make a drawing ….. but what happens before that? How do we get an "eye to see, a hand that is at command, and a mind that can think?"

Since very young children mostly scribble (Did you know that there are varying degrees of scribbling?), it is very important to provide a wide variety of media with which the children can freely experiment. Through the use of crayons, colored pencils, pastels, chalks, watercolors, charcoals, tempera paints at an easel, and various weights and textures of paper, each child becomes aware of the differences in touch, color, blending, textures, use of pressure, shading, and techniques.

Through art, the children develop the strength of their hands while forming shapes with real clay or holding scissors as they snip, cut and fringe paper; they learn how to hold a pencil while painting or pasting with a paintbrush; they seriously develop their concentration and eye-hand coordination as they thread needles, and carefully sew from the simplest to the most intricate designs; they learn how to think when mixing primary colors to make secondary colors, or rubbing the pastels or making collages, weaving or working with a canvas and other creatively intriguing activities.

Art in Everyday Life at Milwaukee Area Montessori

Wisconsin Montessori School Creative ArtsAt MorningStar Montessori, children become acquainted with all of the media and techniques, first demonstrated by the guide, then freely chosen at will. At the very same time, EVERYTHING - Montessori Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics and more - in the Montessori environment contributes to the child’s skill of observation, developing the strength, use and control of the child’s hand, and helping the child’s mind with problem-solving and thinking.

Creating art is an expression of inspiration. How does a child even know what art is? Of what does it consist? What does it take to inspire?

Have you ever studied the delicacy and the intricacy of the hoarfrost on the tiniest tree branches? Have you been surprised by the drab gray softness of the “fur” on the back of a brightly colored sugar maple leaf? Our children at MorningStar have – we make a commitment and great effort to take the time to allow ourselves to be inspired by whatever beauty is surrounding us. Is it the straight parallel lines and right angles on the cinderblock walls and the ceiling tiles? Is it the geometry of the large rectangular vertical windows? Is it the gray and white curling smoke from the outside furnace pipes? Is it the massive stateliness of the trunk of the giant elm, or is it the light playing with the honey locust leaves in the gentle breeze? Is it the golden morning sun shimmering in the waters of our fish tank? Or is it the violet meadow of snow outside our windows in the late winter afternoon?

Our Montessori environment is filled with beauty – natural lighting, many varieties, colors and sizes of plants, natural wooden materials, and art – Georgia O’Keefe, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Renoir, Picasso – and books, pictures and matching cards of all styles of artists. Our June field trip is always dedicated to the Milwaukee Art Museum – and to the surprise and delight of other museum visitors, these young children readily proclaim the differences between Modern art, Realism, and Impressionism with ease and excitement!

Soon the children draw what they see and what they feel. They draw their families; they draw themselves; they draw a leaf and geometric shapes; they draw the pink tower; they bring a clipboard and paper to other parts of our environment and draw the snake, the bird, fish, or plants; they take their art outside and draw the sky, the trees, the flowers, the houses, the field, the sunlight and everything around them.

Their souls are unleashed, the limits are gone, and the children stand before their own creations of body, mind and spirit.