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Skills Children Develop

With words, children share ideas, solve problems, make friends, and ask questions. In early childhood, vocabulary grows every day. Among the early reading skills that children develop is the ability to see details in pictures, turn pages, hear sounds, interpret and create symbols, follow story sequences, and track written words from left to right and top to bottom. Young children who love to hear stories usually grow up to be the best, most prolific readers.

Setup Ideas

Easels, open shelves, tables, clear plastic storage containers, and art and music tools are basic art components. A nearby sink is convenient. Children usually stand to do projects and talk as they create. Space is essential for children to build large structures and move to engaging rhythms.

Arrange materials on low shelves for children’s selection. Enlist their help for daily setup: Mix paints, fill water containers, choose music. Labeled shelves and sponges, paper towels, soap, and waste baskets ease cleanup.

Teaching Strategies

Adults are resources as children learn. Invite children to talk about what they’re doing: "Tell me how you did your project." "You’re leaping into the sky with this music." Encourage children to make friends and work together. Stretch children’s imaginations and skills with inventive challenges. "What do you think would happen if you…."

Guide children as they learn how to make decisions. Offer choices and provide support as they explore art and music. Ask children whether they want to share their ideas, display their creations, or take them home to enjoy.

Suggested Materials

  • art tools: Crayola Jumbo brushes, Crayola easel brushes, Crayola watercolor brushes, craft sticks, smocks, Crayola blunt-end scissors (4 and older)
  • collage materials: fabric, ribbon, straws, chenille sticks, craft feathers
  • drawing and writing tools: Crayola crayons, Crayola construction paper crayons, Crayola chalk, Crayola washable markers, Crayola colored pencils, Crayola Write Start colored pencils
  • game and dance props: hoops, streamers, tape or CD player
  • glue: Crayola school glue, Crayola glue sticks, Crayola glitter glue
  • musical instruments: drums, rhythm sticks, cymbals, tambourines
  • paints: Crayola washable paint, Crayola watercolors, Crayola tempera, Crayola finger paint
  • paper: construction, white, grocery bags, index cards
  • prints of fine art, sculpture, cultural artifacts
  • recycled: newspaper, boxes, cardboard rolls, produce trays, file folders
  • sculpting materials: Crayola dough, Crayola clay, Crayola Model Magic®
  • tape: clear adhesive, masking
  • various musical recordings: jazz, classical, traditional, children’s
Close adult supervision is required to ensure safety of young children. Projects with small parts and scissors with metal blades are for children ages 4 and older.