|A young student chooses to sculpt something unpretentious.|
Children don't need much to inspire their imaginations. Give them a bit of clay and read to them a story or two about winter. Before you know it, they are creating their own little vignettes from whatever materials are made available to them.
In school, art teachers often let young students draw after they have completed their art assignments. We call this 'a free draw.' This little clay vignette on the left was made during a student's free time. He used a few simple stamping tools and bright glazes to enhance his beloved characters, a snowman and a penguin.
Children are not inhibited about embracing the simpler activities in life, activities like building snowmen or reading stories about ice skating penguins. They suffer from no need to craft "high art." Although this does not mean that children shouldn't be taught about fine art, it does mean that teachers should feel free to also let young students live out their childlike fantasies in the making of art. This kind of latitude will indeed inspire them to create more sophisticated work later in life.
Not every art project needs an elaborate agenda, alternate the way that you look at art making as much as the way you use art materials. Choose to give young people a chance to interpret ideas and/or develop alternative solutions for some of the ideas you suggest to them. And if they just want to sculpt a snowman, then by all means, let them make one without feeling guilty! After all, they are only children once.
"This is the wonderful penguin story, narrated by David Attenborough in Bringing Up Baby from BBC Natural World. The film is edited by Mark Fletcher and the music is composed by Jennie Muskett"