Our mission at Hands on Art for Children is to educate parents about the importance of art practices during childhood development, as well as provide an art program for children that truly teaches art principles for important skill development for success.
At Hands on Art, our goal is not to influence our students to become an artist but to become confident creators in any aspect of their life. No matter what career path our students choose to follow, in today’s changing world, having knowledge is no longer enough. One also needs creativity and confidence.
Our Teaching Aproach
An effective art program relies on its teaching approach. The methods implemented at Hands on Art for Children were carefully designed to protect children’s inherent creativity while facilitating the tools for teachers to execute and generate the same results in every lesson along with providing children with the foundation for the development of specific skills for success, in a fun and holistic environment. Our Teaching method is based on four important steps: Inspire – Demonstrate – Facilitate – Seal the Learning. Through our teaching approach, your child will gain confidence in creating as well a toolbox of skills for success.
Hands on Art for Children Building Skills
At the beginning of each project, the children are inspired through questions that will tap into their own memories, feelings, and emotions. We read stories or tell about famous artists in order to originate new ideas. We want the children to tap into their creativity to produce art that is as unique as they are so we teach them how to think outside the box and look for inspiration around them.
Throughout the process of creating, children will encounter challenging scenarios that will require critical thinking and exercising problem-solving skills to find creative solutions. We offer suggestions, ask their classmates to offer suggestions, but we want these to be works of art that your children create themselves so our involvement with the actual piece of art they produce is extremely limited. We want to exercise their brains and their confidence by encouraging them to come up with their own solutions without us doing it for them.
Children are allowed and encouraged to explore different ways of creating. After the inspiration and demonstration process, we open up for exploration and choice of materials, color, etc.
Risk taking is part of the path to success! Children are encouraged to take a risk when they want to explore different approaches to the application of materials. A discussion of possible outcomes generally takes place to prepare the student for the exploration of new ways and some possible outcomes, including unsatisfactory results. We believe Hands on Art is the safest place for children to make mistakes and learn from them.
We emphasize effort over natural ability. Just like every child learns differently, every child also has different levels of ability as well as different areas of interest. Teaching children the importance of working with quality and effort makes a big difference in the outcome of their project. Sometimes a child will be disinterested in the subject and not want to do it so they rush through it without regard for the outcome. It is not uncommon for an extremely talented student to put minimum effort into their projects instead of doing their best because they know they have talent and feel that whatever they do will be good no matter what. We strive to encourage each of our students to work to the best of their ability on each piece of art they create. We want them to be proud of their work, to know they did their best, and to see the joy they have as they discover an ability or technique they previously didn’t know they could do.
How is Hands on Art different from other art programs?
In most schools and other art programs, you will find step by step instruction to create a prototype project. This process not only affects creativity and independence but also impairs a child’s approach to originality, style, and innovative thinking.
Most children who are not exceptional at art from a young age abandon the interest of creating art on their own by the age of 10. This is a result of their inability to create a quality art piece without instructions and also due to the misconception that the only valuable form of art is a realistic form. It’s sad to hear those students later in life referring to their art abilities as inadequate or as typically verbally described; “I am not good at art” or “I can’t even draw stick figures”.
The opposite is true to these statements. As toddlers, we all had an inherent love of creating and expressing ourselves through art. We drew on walls and paper and clothing, much to our parents chagrin. Some of us were encouraged and given praise for our efforts as we grew older. Some of us were not. Some people practice more and so are better. The point is, at some point in life we were all creative and artistic but for many, that creativity was squelched and other, more masculine or supposedly more viable and sound activities were encouraged.
Here at Hands On Art, we recognize the inherent abilities children have to create, and we strive to encourage that. We value art and see its importance in society. We see the incredible potential it has for each child.
Why Art is so important?
In many ways, art is an incredibly powerful tool to prepare children for their futures and various professions. Art nurtures creativity, builds self-confidence, builds critical thinking and problem-solving skills, teaches collaboration and interpersonal communication skills, improves acceptance of constructive feedback, and helps to provide focus to achieve goals.
In order to understand and appreciate the value of visual art and the creative process, It is important to learn about what art is and what isn’t.
Creative art is the process in which we can arrange elements and apply materials in a skillful manner that requires intuition, imagination, and the rich resources of the senses. It integrates the vital dimension of the right-brain. This process is inspired by personal emotions or the need of expressing ideas in a nonverbal manner.
Art is not following a step by step process to replicate an example piece or prototype.
Art and creativity have been practiced since the beginning of humanity. Man has relied on creativity to satisfy his curiosity and drive for evolution. From the caveman, we admire art symbols as the first attempt of self-expression and communication. Moving through time, great artist-scientists/inventors are the best examples of what creative minds are capable of accomplishing. Some examples include Leonardo Davinci and his flying machines, Samuel Morse- inventor of Morse code, Alfred Copley’s research of the properties of blood flow. These artist-scientists, among many others, have two things in common- passion for details and abundant creativity. The value of the art experience lays on the proper process of creating, this process involves critical thinking, risk-taking, problem-solving, and imagination.