Guidance for the Use of Art Easels in the Preschool Classrooms
Art easels are necessary in the preschool classroom. Visual art deeply affects our lives – it is one of the most important forms of communication. Imagine a world without color, pattern, line, texture, space, and proportion. Easel painting provides opportunities for children to experiment with these aesthetic elements. It also provides an avenue for teachers to scaffold rich experiences that encourage emotional, physical and cognitive growth (language, math, and science). Easel painting can provide a descriptive language of how a child is developing emotionally, physically and cognitively. Most of all it is fun, joyful, creative, and exciting – it brings richness and depth to a program.
Painting at the easel has a fluidity that is different from other art media that children use. It is first and foremost a sensory experience. When learning about paint children will learn how to move from a brush stroke that exhibits wild abandon to a more controlled, refined movement. During the process of learning to work with paint, children will develop:
Easel painting is as important as blocks or any other stationary center in the preschool classroom and deserves its own space. There are easels that can be attached to the wall and pulled out, but the difficulty here is that they may not be pulled out enough! Easel painting should be available everyday to provide rich opportunities to learn in science, math, language and the creative and visual arts. So, get those easels up and running!
Althouse R., Johnson M. H. & Mitchell S. T. (2003). The Colors of Learning: Integrating the visual arts into the early childhood curriculum. Teachers College Press.