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Preschool Program And Art FAQs

What should parents know about preschool program art activities? Now that your three, four, or five-year-old is in pre-k, they're ready to get hands-on and create mini masterpieces. But you have questions about the creative arts and early childhood education. From kid-safe material choices to the types of processes pre-k programs use, take a look at some art-related questions parents have. 

Why Art?

Early childhood education is more than just academics. Even though your young student will explore academic areas in pre-k (such as early literacy, math, science, and social studies), they will also have the chance to discover the arts.

Along with the more traditional areas of learning, the creative arts can help preschoolers to build new skills and develop budding fine motor, cognitive, language/communication, social, and emotional abilities. Whether your child paints, draws, collages, sculpts with clay, or tries another art process, they can problem solve, learn how to think critically, practice finger-hand skills (such as eye-hand coordination), improve dexterity, and more.

Not only can the arts help your child to develop general skill areas, but these activities can also tie into specific classroom content areas. A shape-drawing exercise is a combined art-math lesson, mixing paint colors is an art-science activity, and discussions about works of art (both the works the children create and famous works the children may view in books or on posters) are literacy-based experiences. 

Are Preschool Art Materials Safe?

Any art supply used in a pre-k classroom should conform to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. The ASTM evaluates art materials for safety and looks for potentially toxic ingredients. 

Along with the ASTM seal, materials for young children should also meet other safety standards or guidelines. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), art materials intended for use by children 12 and under should comply with the Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 (or CPSIA) requirements for lead use/content. 

If you're not sure what types of materials the school uses or whether they have the ASTM seal, ask the teacher. The early childhood educator can help you to learn more about what the preschoolers will use to create art in the classroom.

What Types of Materials and Process Will Preschoolers Use?

The answer to this question depends on which materials the teacher chooses. Common materials teachers use in pre-k classrooms include water-based tempera paints/finger paints, non-toxic/water-based school glue, children's safety scissors (smaller scissors with easy-to-grip handles and rounded edges), construction paper, poster board, tissue paper, crayons, colored pencils, washable markers, and modeling clay. 

Pre-k art processes include a variety of creative explorations that allow the children to use materials in different ways. The young students may try finger painting, brush painting, roller painting, crayon drawing, marker drawing, collaging with paper and glue, sculpting with clay, and multimedia projects (using several different materials and processes).