Art Ideas, craft, Kid Stuff, workshop
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The Importance of Learning Through Artistic Play


>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies <<

Children’s overall development is affected by a combination of both their biological maturation and their environment. As they represent what they know in different ways, it is imperative to provide children with opportunities to practice their skills in a safe environment that offer real challenges. By problem solving through artistic play, children cognitively go through the process of accommodation. During this process, children learn new information and add it to their existing knowledge base, to come up with a refined idea about their world.

So, when I walked into the spacious art room, illuminated by sunlight streaming through the windows, I smiled as my eyes immediately noticed the long tables’ set-up with a variety of water colour paints, paint brushes of multiple sizes, colourful and bright pastels and multiple large canvases. As a qualified and experienced Early Childhood Educator and Elementary School Teacher, I understood the critical components that produce an ideal and amazing art program for children. An ideal art program must provide children with enough time, space, materials and tools to explore, along with a nurturing environment where an individual’s creative process can flourish, and where an artistically inclined teacher provides positive feedback.

To the untrained eye, it may appear that children at play are busy making a mess at the art table rather then learning. However I beg to differ, as children at play are children hard at work, constantly learning about the world around them. Artistic play based learning and problem solving stimulates children’s brain development during their critical stages of cognitive growth. As they practice and use the art mediums and tools in new and different ways, children continue to go through the process of accommodation as they learn and develop new ideas about the world around them. For instance, with toddlers, all of a sudden the wet glue is no longer just something white and sticky, but a substance used to help hold a special gem or pompom onto their canvas. Alternatively, with repeated opportunities for practice, a few strokes of red and white paint that blend together on paper are no longer accidental, but done on purpose to achieve the product of making pink paint.


This entry was posted in: Art Ideas, craft, Kid Stuff, workshop


Nikki is the owner/director of Seasons Family Centre. She completed a diploma in photography at Fanshawe College, followed by a degree in psychology at the University of Western Ontario. Shortly after she finished a post-graduate diploma at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She is a Registered Canadian Art Therapist. Over the next few years she extended her education through various courses in psychology, counselling and play therapy at George Brown College, Hincks Delcrest and Cross Country Education. For the past several years Nikki has been running art programs all across the city of Toronto at various schools, community centres, libraries and private homes. She also runs play therapy groups at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Offices as well as private art therapy sessions. Nikki has taken several courses in baking and cake decorating through the Wilton certification program.

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  1. Pingback: Easy Craft for Toddlers! -

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