From this week onwards, I have decided to not only focus on brain development and learning; but also to share successful activities and experiences from our preschool with you. Finger painting is an age-old activity that never fails to enthral kids. This activity has been around for ages. I really mean AGES. Last year scientists uncovered a very interesting find: (as reported on History.com)
Researchers have uncovered evidence that children as young as 2 decorated France’s Rouffignac caves with markings known as finger flutings at least 13,000 years ago, drawing not only simple lines but also symbolic shapes. The most prolific budding artist, thought to have been a 5-year-old girl, braved the pitch-dark caverns’ rocky terrain to hone her craft on high, remote corners—perched, perhaps, on the shoulders of an approving adult.
Although today we would prefer that our kids don’t paint on the walls, we know that the benefits of finger painting are numerous. I have tried to be thorough in the list below, of reasons why finger painting is beneficial. Please feel free to add more benefits in the comments box!
- Kids can learn informally about mixing and exploring colours.
- Sensory integration is promoted.
- All the senses are involved: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and (if you use edible paint) tasting!
- Finger painting strengthens the finger and hand muscles, thereby improving fine motor development .
- The development of hand-eye coordination is supported.
- If you place the paper on the floor, large muscle control and balance could be improved.
- Finger painting is easier for little fingers that are not yet ready to manipulate a brush with skill.
- This is a non-prescriptive way of promoting children’s self-expression.
- There is a focus on the process, not on the end result or the finished product.
- Finger painting is therapeutic – children can express their feelings visually without using words.
- It stimulates creativity and imagination.
- Finger painting is an excellent way of creating shared art work with a group of kids working together.
- The finished art work and the process are stimulation points for discussion on the creative process, the colours, the themes, the design etc , thus language development is promoted.
- Kids learn that they can manipulate and be in control of their surroundings.
- It is MESSY, which also means it is FUN!
Photo Credit: Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/48873600@N08/5139924820/