Planning a Successful Art Center in Child Care

Art center materials

In order for children to create art, they need an inspiring space. The art center should look like an artist’s studio, filled with children’s art as well as that of well-known artists. The art center should allow children to feel creative as they explore materials to express themselves. The art center also allows children to make their own discoveries, either independently or together, and to feel confident in the choices they make.

Setting Up an Art Center in Your Classroom

The Art Center in Child Care


Girl using tempera paint

Art Supports Children’s Development

Painting, coloring, sculpting, drawing, and other forms of creative art are an important part of the child care curriculum. Creating art supports young children’s development across several different domains. Using art tools helps children develop small muscle coordination and control. Children can practice thinking skills by experimenting with color, texture, and design. Art gives children an opportunity to express their ideas and feelings, relieves tension, and provides limits for self-discipline. Art allows children to achieve and …

Art in Child Care

Child painting mural

The child care setting can be a great place for children to use and explore different types of art materials. By providing children with many different materials appropriate to their ages and abilities, child care providers can encourage children to use their imaginations and be creative. Children can work on motor skills by stimulation using different types of materials (paper punches, clay, and crayons) and demonstrate an understanding of certain concepts, such as big and small. Through art children are …

Praise Effort Instead of Product When Discussing Children's Art

Child's hand with paint brush

When young children are creating art, it’s important for child care providers to remember to praise effort instead of product. Praising the product is very tempting. It’s easy to say, “I love your beautiful painting!” without really thinking about the words. Unfortunately, there are several ways that your well-meaning praise can go wrong.

How Can Praise Be Negative?

Child care providers may praise children’s artwork to help increase their self-esteem. Unfortunately, children sometimes misinterpret teachers’ praise. Here are some common …

Making Creative Art Available to All Children in a Child Care Program

Art center materials

Creative art is an important part of the child care curriculum that helps children explore their feelings, practice creativity and problem solving, and develop fine motor skills. Creating art can foster a child’s feelings of self-esteem and success. Art is a great way for young children to improve motor skills and strengthen pathways of connections in the brain, which can help them succeed at academic skills later.

Child care providers need to be sure to make art available to all …