“The “lightbulb” moment for me was when I was faced with a class of 4 year olds, unannounced, at the Art room door.
I had spent the last hour perfecting my elaborate still life set up of musical instruments for the 13 year olds who I was timetabled to teach. In view of the fact that 4 year olds could not be kept waiting long enough for me to dismantle the still life set up & rearrange the desks, I had no other option but to sit them down in the places originally allocated for the 13 year olds & attempt to try to instil in them the belief that I was not asking the impossible of them.
Having no children of my own at the time, I was astounded at the way in which not one of them questioned what I was expecting of them. I had told them they were going to draw the musical instruments & they could not see any reason why not. I then demonstrated how to draw a violin, a clarinet - still no doubts - a guitar, the folds of cloth....Each child picked up their charcoal & just copied exactly what I had shown them! The results were amazing!
Later, having children of my own, I realised why small children are completely unphased about drawing whatever is asked of them; after all most have saved the world or created an entire fairy kingdom before breakfast!
Teaching my own children to create I read up what had been written about teaching Art to very young children by experts in the subject. There is a pattern of development in drawing which I read about & I saw unfolding in my own children & those whom I began to teach from 18 months upwards. Additionally, there is a lot of visual information you can teach small children & it’s wonderful what information gets absorbed & how open minded they are to looking at works of Art. Little tots love making marks, mixing colours (colour magicians I call them), gluing, moulding clay........all the many many fun things enjoyed at Tot Art classes.
Come & join in, it’s fun & lovely to watch & share with your child their experience.”
Wendy Briggs, Founder of Tot Art, BA (Hons) Fine Art, P.G.C.E. Art Education. Twice winner of The National Artworks Award - Awarded for teaching Art, selected from over 35,000 entries & presented at a ceremony held at The Tate Modern.