Arts And Crafts Centre

Aside from unleasing the hidden Rembrants, the art centre benefits children in many ways.

It utilizes the muscles in the hands (small motor skills), which helps ready them for the tasks of writing and manipulating small objects like buttons and zippers.
It works on a child's creativity and imagination skills and teaches them to see the beauty in life, art, and in themselves.

Setting Up An Art Centre

Before you go out to set up an awesome art centre, there are two items you should avoid: colouring books - which are frustrating to younger children who have trouble keeping within the lines and do little to draw on a child's creativity and imagination, and markers, paints or glues that are not marked as non-toxic.

Always check the labels of the products you buy as many art supplies on the market contain toxins that can be absorbed into the skin or inhaled into the lungs.

So What Makes A Great Art Centre?

paint smocks
aprons or old T-shirts
tempra paints and paint brushes of assorted sizes
a paint easle
pie tins or empty baby food jars for mixing paints
safety scissors
hole puncher
tracing molds
glue sticks or water-based white glue
scotch tape
water-based markers
coloured pencils
contstruction paper, white paper, crepe paper, brown wrapping paper, paper bags
chalk board, chalk, brushes
yarn, string beads, popsicle sticks, tongue depressors sponges corkboard and pins for displaying art.

Praising The Child's Work

It is important to keep in mind that art is in they eye of the beholder. You should always respect a child's art for what it is, for the valiant effort each child put forth in producing the piece. When a child presents you with a finished work, ask him/her to tell you about it. Comment on the colour, the use of different materials. Avoid asking the child what the picture is. The child's commentary will suffice. It is important not to compare one child's artwork to that of another child's, or to give suggestions on how to make the piece better.
What matters is that the child is satisfied with the results.