Friday, 18 October 2013

Arts and Crafts

There is an important and fundamental difference between art and crafts. Craft implies instructions, steps, directions, and somewhat uniform final product. Art is more freeform and creative with something unique being created. We try to balance these two with our daily arts and crafts activities. Because we are working with children that have been diagnosed with ASD it is important that we teach skills like following another's agenda, copying and imitating actions or sequences, and the always important skill of coping. That being said, while it is important for our kiddos to have an opportunity to be creative, it's also important for them to have opportunities to follow instructions and imitate.

Facilitated craft doesn't always turn out as we imagine.
Now, our crafts don't always turn out as carbon copied master-pieces. Each kiddo glues, cuts, and colours as independently as they are able to and even the most facilitated crafts can turn out entirely unique products. 
Paper rolls on the wall always garner lots of attention
We have an "art table" set up in our Tree Room classroom with different supplies put out daily. You can read about it in the White Picket Fence post. This table allows the kids to express their creativity. Sometimes we will set out idea lists or visuals to help get the imagination going but it is largely what the kids (and their Early Intervention Therapists) want to make. We see lots of scribbling, some printing, a ton of MatMan, and sometimes we end up with something totally different and inspiring. 

Some Halloween Art - a witch and her broom
 Across the hall from Tree Room you will find our organized craft wall in the Sun Room classroom. This is a hanging organizer that we rotate pre-prepped crafts through on a regular basis. Right now you will see tissue paper covered pumpkins, puzzle piece collage trees, pre-drawn trees that can have apples and leaves glued on, and paper bag turkeys. The crafts target a lot of important crafting skills (cutting, gluing, orienting, drawing, etc.) and play into our current themes.

Our organized craft wall.
Thanks to our crafty kids at STA we always have the best artwork on our walls.

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