At Tops Day Nurseries we are passionate about child led environments and enabling children to have free and independent access to a wide range of art and craft supplies. The materials and equipment we use are carefully selected by their potential to enhance children’s learning, development and imagination. By using easy access art stations to display your craft materials you are enabling children to foster independence and decision making.
We avoid using pre drawn templates or stickers during craft as we feel this limits children’s creativity and leads children to think that there is only a single correct way to use them. Our goal as professionals is to provide an environment where children have free access to a wide range of open-ended craft materials that encourage divergent thinking not convergent thinking.
The self-selection range by TTS enable you to present a wide range of tools, equipment and materials for the children in a way that is organised and promotes independence. If children’s craft areas are disorganised and cluttered, this will limit the children’s ability to find and select resources to use independently. Children will then become less engaged in craft activities and in turn this limits their creative development.
At Tops Day Nurseries, we promote self-select art areas both inside and out. The outdoor mobile art trolley is a fantastic way of promoting self-select art outside whilst developing larger gross motor skills at the same time. Creating self-select art areas enables children to independently develop a wide range of skills:
– Creative development – Art is naturally linked to children’s creativity, which is a very important area of development to help children learn to think outside the box, put ideas together, solve problems and make decisions.
Sensory development – By having self-access to art, children are exposed to activities that employ all of the senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.
Brain development – When engaging in art activities children’s neurological connections are re-enforced as they repeat certain movements, experience new feelings and materials.
Fine motor skills – Through drawing, peeling, mixing, cutting, squeezing, kneading and tearing – children are constantly strengthening their fine motor skills as they require dexterity and co-ordination.
Social skills – Children will often gather around a self-access art area. This provides opportunities for conversation and building new relationships amongst the children. The more opportunity that children have free access to art, the more likely they will be to try new ideas and combinations.