Now, I am not an expert on art or how child development and art intersect, but I am an expert on creativity (and awesomeness). I just want to yell "NOBODY PUTS BABY IN A CORNER!" every time I look at these (that quote is from Dirty Dancing which has nothing to do with this blog post except that my baby is daring and unique and creative...and awesome).
If I could rid the world of cookie cutter art projects/ Oriental Trading prefab garbage/ teaching kids there is only one right way, I would! Fortunately, Hazel seems to know this without my having to teach it...or maybe I did?
One of our favorite books is Willow by Brennan-Nelson. I discovered it in a list of recommended books for independent young girls. It is truly fabulous. Willow doesn't paint red apples on green trees, as much as the teacher tries to force her to. In the end, Willow changes her school and it is a much happier, creative, unique world.
(affiliate link, please purchase through this link so I can have a penny and reward my artist with new paints)
Whether because of this book or because of her own idea of what this reindeer should look like, Hazel broke away from the mould! These art projects were displayed in the hallway. She is the first, the others lined up after her like the most boring parade in existence. I don't mean to demean the work of the other 4-year-olds. They did a great job replicating the teacher's example. But man-oh-man am I excited to see where my independent spirit ends up!
post note: I assume that many people would react quite opposite to discover their child's art project looks drastically different from the rest of the group. I think God knew what he was doing when he gave Hazel and I (and her father who grinned ear-to-ear when he saw the line-up) to each other.
Also, I must admit to giving in to prefab art projects many times and my kids love them... Though my mom always "tsks" and mumbles about creativity.
Also, this isn't meant to be a critique of their preschool art projects, they are always adorable and let creativity like this happen!