Collaborative art is a fantastic exploration for young children. In addition to the creative aspect, it incorporates STEM concepts AND social emotional learning! We are very happy to provide and support collaborative art activities for children, and hope some of our ideas will be helpful to you as well!
First, let the children lead!
We must stress the importance of letting children guide their own creative explorations. Don’t tell them what to do! They will figure it out, building their own initiative and creative process along the way.
Second, make this a prolonged exploration.
Putting the A in STEAM allows them to really engage in cause and effect and problem solving, but they need time in order to do so. Sustained focus! This will be much more than just a day / class project.
Third, include everyone!
Try to use mediums that are large enough for many children to use, or encourage them to combine their art to make a class project. If you don’t have paper, use paint on a plastic top table, and wash it afterwards. Also, you can paint rocks, scraps, old shoes, recycled bottles, really anything! And just because a child is working on one part of the project one day does not mean that another child isn’t allowed to the next. Remember, this is COLLABORATIVE! Children will learn to share and build together.
Fourth, introduce new materials!
Bring in new mediums, more pieces, or new types of tools to explore or add to the art project. Start with markers. Days later, add paint. Days later, add chalk. Days later, add clay. Days later, bring the paint back. There can be layers on layers on layers, and the children will keep creating. Their imaginations will surprise and inspire you! We promise 🙂 Remember, this process doesn’t stop with one day of exploration. This can continue for a week, a month, a quarter, a semester!
Finally, there is no wrong way to do this!
Just make sure the children are provided with plenty of materials, and be ready in case you need to step in and guide some of the social emotional learning. In terms of the collaborative art, the children will guide themselves!
Please, SHARE WITH US! Show us what your kids create, and let us know how YOUR collaborative art project goes! We would love to hear and see.