In “oti agapo” , the perception, aesthetic exploration and all the creative activities of a child are closely connected to the ‘understanding of the world’.
Children, trying to discover and understand the world, follow their own paths and use a variety of methods. In the “oti agapo” with drawing, painting, collage, experimenting with clay or wire, water and paper, the children come in close contact with their environment, process their experiences and they give new, completely own expression, to their impressions.
Children, e.g. painting, give shape to what they have perceived and understood. We consider the plan as a means of thinking. In other words: With the paintings we make sure that our children represent and interpret and understand things, situations and actions.
Children’s creative activities, therefore, combine discovery and emotion: children find the way to understand something and, at the same time, they are surprised and feel joyous with the discovery of new things. One of the important works of his “oti agapo” pedagogues is to preserve and enhance the curiosity and joy of discovery that children feel by combining them with new possibilities of expression and consciousness. Also, our artistic activities help children better understand the different symbol systems and writing.
Opportunities for artistic creativity take place in the context of work plans: apart from materials that are permanently available to children to use in their spare time, there are organized activities that last longer and incorporate other artistic activities.
Young children up to three years old acquire their first basic knowledge of materials and techniques through artistic activities, while the possibilities offered to older children are designed in a way that is becoming more complex.
Even very young children are interested in artworks and are impressed by their aesthetics and complexity.
By offering them only limited, and often stereotyped – child-friendly forms of art, we underestimate their perceptual ability. Children get stimuli to express themselves when they see many different projects. Pictures of paintings and sculptures, architectural works and drawings from various artistic periods must be available to children in all kindergartens.
Children shape their imagination through artistic activity. The compromise between reality and imagination meets through art in a unique way. The existence of a balance between the loud and the impossible, the reality and the fiction, gives children the energy they need to plan their world. That’s why children need a lot of material, lots of opportunities for experimentation and a lot of free time to use them as they want. The present is important; no child should exhaust the creativity of “here and now” to learn about “later”.
“There is nothing in mind that has not once been in the senses.”