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  #1  
Old 01-22-2018, 07:42 PM
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Default Grow NJ Kids

I have a full day (paid) trial at a Grow NJ Kids daycare center, and honestly, I'm a little worried about it.

My mom is employed at another Grow NJ Kids center and she's unsure if she's going to last much longer there. We both completely disagree with the idea that doing art projects with infants is a waste of time because they "get nothing out of it."

I honestly don't know too much about what the rules are for Grow NJ Kids- aside from this idea that at around 2, kids can color with crayons, but it's not until they are closer to 4 that they can actually DO any kind of structured art project.

(Is there any place where the people who are in charge of what to do with kids actually HAVE any kind of experience with children?)
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:29 AM
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I have a full day (paid) trial at a Grow NJ Kids daycare center, and honestly, I'm a little worried about it.

My mom is employed at another Grow NJ Kids center and she's unsure if she's going to last much longer there. We both completely disagree with the idea that doing art projects with infants is a waste of time because they "get nothing out of it."

I honestly don't know too much about what the rules are for Grow NJ Kids- aside from this idea that at around 2, kids can color with crayons, but it's not until they are closer to 4 that they can actually DO any kind of structured art project.

(Is there any place where the people who are in charge of what to do with kids actually HAVE any kind of experience with children?)
Doing art "projects" with infants and toddlers are called "parent pleasers". They make the parent happy but they are a crap ton of work and do nothing for the development of the infant.

In my experience, the age of four is when they can do art projects. Simple coloring for short periods is okay and play doh is fun for them for a while. Some cutting and gluing is okay for the three year olds too. It really depends on the age of the child and how much they can work independently without creating a bunch of work for the adult.

I quit doing painting with kids unless it was a very special occasion. It is very time consuming to set up, supervise, clean up, line dry, and hand out to parents. If you have a staff assistant and are paying for it, it is one of the most expensive activities you can have them do.

The good news is that you can do art work with your infant when you get home with your child every night and on the weekends. I have found that babies, toddlers are young preschoolers get a lot out of the experience if they have one to one interaction, direction, and participation with an adult. They don't get anything out of the actual art project but they do get a lot out of the one to one attention they get in the experience and you have the "project" to hang up around the house or give away as gifts to family to remember the times by. If Art is something you value, you can easily do it with your child daily to give them the experience.

My experience is that parents who really push for art to be done with infants and toddlers do it because they want the child to have the experience but they don't want to do the work it takes to set it up, supervise it, and clean it up. They want someone else to do it so they can have the end result to prove the kid did something really fun, to show off the art work, and to get their money's worth in daycare.

My son went to a Head Start program in the early 2000"s and when he began the first semester they had stations set up for all different kinds of activities including painting, sand tables, water tables etc. which the kids could free range and do during free play. When I first saw the set up, all I could think was how in the world did the three staff keep up with the mess and supervise the group.

In the beginning of October, I went back to visit the classroom and everything that was messy was taken down. The painting area was changed to a "stamping" area where they could use stamps and ink pads. The sand table had a half inch of sand and only had cars to run through it. The water table was turned into a fishing game and lined with hookable toys with small thick plastic hand fishing poles with short strings. The coloring table had a very small selection of thick crayons and block paper to cover the table. The stack of puzzles that were within reach were put up on a shelf and dolled out one by one and were ones with few pieces so the clean up would be quick when the kid dumped it and walked away.

The art work he came home with could be deconstructed and I could tell what he did and what the adult did. Often, the only thing he could have possibly done was the gluing of the googly eyes or the coloring over what they had cut out. I watched one of the staff over at a table doing all the pre work of getting everything ready in advance so that all that was left was a few minutes of my kid gluing with a glue stick or coloring.

For the most part, staff just don't want to do art with little kids unless it's something they can sit with them around a table in large groups for a good period of time and require very little on the part of the adult. Play doh without any play doh accessories (knives, rollers etc.) is really popular. Plop a blob of play doh in front of the kids for them to kneed and roll on their own. If it's all the same color then all they can swoop it up and pop it back in the bucket.

Some providers really like art or are required by their state to do art, water, sand, etc. play in order to maintain or reach their level of QRS or whatever program they participate in. They do it because they like it or have to. I prefer to meet their fine motor needs by having a large selection of toys for each age group for them to manipulate.

The best solution is for you to take over your infant's art education. That way you know what they are actually doing as opposed to the adults doing and pawning it off as done by the kid. You will also be able to control the mess because you will be directly supervising just your one child.
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:43 AM
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I tend to agree with infants/toddlers not getting a whole lot out of it. I offer my 17 mo dcg markers(she sucks the color out ), crayons(she tries to bite the ends off), and forget colored pencils(I'm sure the parent prefers that she has vision out of both eyes). At this age everything goes into their mouths. I tried playdoh a couple times with her and same thing. Same with chalk. And paint. She actually painted yesterday but, with great help from me. I had to literally pull up a chair right beside her so I could intervene. That really limits what you can do to help other dcks. So the only time I promote infant/toddler involvement is when we do Christmas crafts or other special holiday projects. Parent pleasers? Possibly. Lol But I think that depends on the parents. How many of us complain artwork ends up on the floor of the car or squashed in the bottom of backpacks?
There are better ways to help grow those fine motor skills IMO. Digging in the dirt, stacking blocks, painting with water outdoors, scooping/pouring, large bead-stringing, etc. While I try to re-introduce art to little ones to see if they're ready to enjoy it without eating it, I also don't stress out about it.
I get more serious with it around 2-2 1/2 yo. Again depending on the child.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:14 AM
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I too hate structured projects for infants. Or honestly the under 4 crowd in general. We do projects for holidays only and if I miss one I don’t fret about it. My 3’s can help with a lot of it but I basically do most of it 6x over. They are wayy more into just scribbling on paper than the parent pleaser crafts licensing thinks are beneficial..
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:39 AM
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I do daily art with all ages. I do infant art. It is what you do when you are required to.

They used to love painting with pudding, colored whipped cream, popsicles or jello but that is no longer "best practice". Too confusing for infants. You know, the ones who try to eat all art supplies unless restrained.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:09 AM
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At a certain age, aren't the kids going to be just as likely to put hot sauce and soap in their mouths as they are whipped cream and pudding? I thought the purpose of using food as mediums for painting wasn't because it encourages the kids to eat it, but because it's SAFE to eat if they do manage to sneak a taste.

I agree that an infant might not be able to get much out of a structured art project, but that doesn't mean they don't get ANYTHING out of it. So, they might not make the connection to what they are making. They may only be able to scribble or finger paint the pieces that the teacher puts together to make the final project.

But isn't a little time- even if it's just once a month- getting a little messy and finger painting at least SOMETHING? It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. White paint on blue paper can be labeled with the child's name, date, and the caption "Winter Snowstorm." They might not understand that they made a snow storm, but the purpose of art projects at that age isn't so the kids get pride in their creation. It's simply the process and sensory experience that matters.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:26 AM
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It's simply the process and sensory experience that matters.
That I agree with.

I do lots of sensory activities with infants and they love it. Squishing clay with sand, swirling paint in a ziplock, shaking glitter/dye in water bottles, splatting liquid water paints in a tray, etc. It is good fun and engaging.

To provide the amount of physical "proof" art is done, that is required to hang on the wall, at all times, in several different mediums, per child, is the struggle.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:28 AM
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At a certain age, aren't the kids going to be just as likely to put hot sauce and soap in their mouths as they are whipped cream and pudding? I thought the purpose of using food as mediums for painting wasn't because it encourages the kids to eat it, but because it's SAFE to eat if they do manage to sneak a taste.

I agree that an infant might not be able to get much out of a structured art project, but that doesn't mean they don't get ANYTHING out of it. So, they might not make the connection to what they are making. They may only be able to scribble or finger paint the pieces that the teacher puts together to make the final project.

But isn't a little time- even if it's just once a month- getting a little messy and finger painting at least SOMETHING? It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. White paint on blue paper can be labeled with the child's name, date, and the caption "Winter Snowstorm." They might not understand that they made a snow storm, but the purpose of art projects at that age isn't so the kids get pride in their creation. It's simply the process and sensory experience that matters.
The process and sensory experience can be accomplished in many other ways. The projects are honestly JUST parent pleasers. They stick their hands in their food for the same sensory experience, without inadvertently teaching them to eat art supplies. They get one on one time with caregivers sitting in their laps and paging through a book. The physical process experience can be duplicated many times throughout the day without dedicated so much time to clean up.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:31 AM
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I'd also like to point out, that according to the first 5 commission...the SINGAL most important thing you can do is use your voice. Talk, sing, read. It changes everything.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:38 AM
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I'd also like to point out, that according to the first 5 commission...the SINGAL most important thing you can do is use your voice. Talk, sing, read. It changes everything.
Narrate your day. It makes such a huge difference.

It is not as appreciated when you can't stop for the first half of the weekend, though. Just saying.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:42 AM
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That I agree with.

I do lots of sensory activities with infants and they love it. Squishing clay with sand, swirling paint in a ziplock, shaking glitter/dye in water bottles, splatting liquid water paints in a tray, etc. It is good fun and engaging.

To provide the amount of physical "proof" art is done, that is required to hang on the wall, at all times, in several different mediums, per child, is the struggle.
I've worked with people who stick to a routine of sleep, feed, change with infants. I spent my hard-earned money on sensory bottle materials. One day, I went into the room and the bottles I made were gone. (I glued the lids on with super glue, so there was no risk of the children accidentally choking on the caps or pieces inside).

I think it should be a generic, open Art and Sensory requirement. It doesn't have to be a dedicated art project. It could be time with sensory bags/bottles. Exploring items in a sand/water table (or bucket). "Today, we squished bananas in between our fingers as we ate snack." I think that would count.

Doing an art project would also meet that requirement to do some kind of art/sensory activity X number of times in a week.

But there are some people that hear art/sensory and think it HAS to be an art project and therefore, doing any of it is pointless for an infant.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:22 PM
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At a certain age, aren't the kids going to be just as likely to put hot sauce and soap in their mouths as they are whipped cream and pudding? I thought the purpose of using food as mediums for painting wasn't because it encourages the kids to eat it, but because it's SAFE to eat if they do manage to sneak a taste.

I agree that an infant might not be able to get much out of a structured art project, but that doesn't mean they don't get ANYTHING out of it. So, they might not make the connection to what they are making. They may only be able to scribble or finger paint the pieces that the teacher puts together to make the final project.

But isn't a little time- even if it's just once a month- getting a little messy and finger painting at least SOMETHING? It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. White paint on blue paper can be labeled with the child's name, date, and the caption "Winter Snowstorm." They might not understand that they made a snow storm, but the purpose of art projects at that age isn't so the kids get pride in their creation. It's simply the process and sensory experience that matters.
If it's so safe and easy to do, why don't the parents just do it at home?

I would never give a baby whip cream and pudding to play in. I don't want the mess. I don't want them eating that crap. I REALLY don't want it in their eyes.

If sensory experiences are what you are after there are a zillion other things the staff can do. If it requires direct supervision of one to one and a mess to clean up, it isn't worth the staff's time. They have supervision and CARE to do.

For some reason, every educational component of children's life has been shoved into child CARE. Many providers don't want to do educational programs. They want to provide care and supervision, good food, caring and gentle affection, and a clean environment.

Since when did art become a part of a child CARE experience? Parents have one or a few of their own kids and can do whatever they want with them. They can educate them much more easily than a staff member or child care provider. They don't have the responsibility of care and supervision of OTHER people's children that must comply with State regulations.

Instead of art, I would rather the staff take the time to do a head to toe check on the infants for signs of rashes, illness, bruising or marks at arrival and before departure. Now THAT would be something very valuable to an infant in an infant room or daycare. Way way way more valuable.

I can think of a zillion things I would rather do or rather pay my staff to do with the tuition I charge than infant art. It's SO low on the priority list that it doesn't exist in a given day.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:35 PM
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I think it should be a generic, open Art and Sensory requirement. It doesn't have to be a dedicated art project. It could be time with sensory bags/bottles. Exploring items in a sand/water table (or bucket). "Today, we squished bananas in between our fingers as we ate snack." I think that would count.
I think we should have laws requiring parents to do Art and Sensory activities with their children daily.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:02 PM
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I think we should have laws requiring parents to do Art and Sensory activities with their children daily.
You’re speaking my language. I actually had to start telling potential clients “please don’t expect your child to bring things home that you will want to show off or hang on the fridge. On the rare occasion that they paint they will most likely mix all the colors and put too much paint on the paper and you will get a paper with holes in it covered in brownish paint. The only art activities children do here are ones they can do themselves”.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
At a certain age, aren't the kids going to be just as likely to put hot sauce and soap in their mouths as they are whipped cream and pudding? I thought the purpose of using food as mediums for painting wasn't because it encourages the kids to eat it, but because it's SAFE to eat if they do manage to sneak a taste.

I agree that an infant might not be able to get much out of a structured art project, but that doesn't mean they don't get ANYTHING out of it. So, they might not make the connection to what they are making. They may only be able to scribble or finger paint the pieces that the teacher puts together to make the final project.

But isn't a little time- even if it's just once a month- getting a little messy and finger painting at least SOMETHING? It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. White paint on blue paper can be labeled with the child's name, date, and the caption "Winter Snowstorm." They might not understand that they made a snow storm, but the purpose of art projects at that age isn't so the kids get pride in their creation. It's simply the process and sensory experience that matters.


Its just busy work for the adult.


I also have parents who complain about laundry and only bathe their children weekly. No thanks!
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:30 PM
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I dont know, the infants (6mts and up) seem to enjoy playing in paint. My 2 year olds love painting, doing bingo dabbers and squirt bottle art. They enjoy it, half the time the parents don't know what it is! With infants, we do alot of "squish" art. We put the art supply (paint, pudding, shaving cream, wet jello) in a bag and they can squish away. my 2 year olds really like playing with crayons, markers, and chalk on paper. Guess it depends on the kid
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:04 AM
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Narrate your day. It makes such a huge difference.

It is not as appreciated when you can't stop for the first half of the weekend, though. Just saying.
LOLO I love it especially when "I have to go potty" slips out before you can stop it.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:06 AM
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I think we should have laws requiring parents to do Art and Sensory activities with their children daily.
OMG, I was talking with a dcm about the deranged parents who chained their 13 kids. We both highly agreed that before parents become parents they should be held to the same rules and expectations that childcare providers do.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:07 AM
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You’re speaking my language. I actually had to start telling potential clients “please don’t expect your child to bring things home that you will want to show off or hang on the fridge. On the rare occasion that they paint they will most likely mix all the colors and put too much paint on the paper and you will get a paper with holes in it covered in brownish paint. The only art activities children do here are ones they can do themselves”.
YES or they'll swab the brush across the paper once and call it good. Really? I set this all up for that? How did you get more on yourself than on your paper?
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:37 AM
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I do daily art with all ages. I do infant art. It is what you do when you are required to.

They used to love painting with pudding, colored whipped cream, popsicles or jello but that is no longer "best practice". Too confusing for infants. You know, the ones who try to eat all art supplies unless restrained.
According to our "best practice" policies/rules....using food as anything but food is considered disrespectful. It's shows disrespect to those that may not have enough food in their homes when we use it as an art supply.

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Narrate your day. It makes such a huge difference.
This is the VERY first thing anyone will tell a new parent.
It's the ONLY thing that hasn't changed or been removed or modified as far as child rearing or parenting advice goes.


"Talk to your baby" While feeding, changing, rocking, carrying, playing with etc.... Everything you do and say is input for them.... sensory.... eyes, ears, touch, taste, smell.....

One of the example lesson plans for sensory processing for infants according to my state's QRIS program is "belly time in front of a mirror" It meets social emotional needs as well as sensory.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:45 AM
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"According to our "best practice" policies/rules....using food as anything but food is considered disrespectful. It's shows disrespect to those that may not have enough food in their homes when we use it as an art supply. "

That is interesting, our training never even mentioned that line of reasoning. If my client did not have enough food in the house, I'd find a resource to solve that. I have been really lucky (or relentless, depends on your POV), so far, that way.

I did it as a throwback, it was simply what I had always witnessed being done. I liked it because I was able to let them do it without having to restrain/redirect them a million times. Truly "free" art. Infant "art" was easily accomplished after snack, while still in a high chair. Pudding mix, whipped cream, and jello mix barely qualify as food anyway. I stopped using it and have replaced it with color diffusing paper and watercolor pads/blotters/droppers. http://roylco.com/shop/r15214-super-...v=7516fd43adaa

"One of the example lesson plans for sensory processing for infants according to my state's QRIS program is "belly time in front of a mirror" It meets social emotional needs as well as sensory."

Mine, too. It is something I have in each individual infant playspace. They love it.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:58 AM
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Thinking more, that begs the question of why they still want us to use rice in sensory bins.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:21 AM
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Thinking more, that begs the question of why they still want us to use rice in sensory bins.
I don't know. I use cornmeal since it doesn't resemble food to children.

But that may be a way to use up the huge bag of white rice we'll never eat.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:12 AM
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I dont know, the infants (6mts and up) seem to enjoy playing in paint. My 2 year olds love painting, doing bingo dabbers and squirt bottle art. They enjoy it, half the time the parents don't know what it is! With infants, we do alot of "squish" art. We put the art supply (paint, pudding, shaving cream, wet jello) in a bag and they can squish away. my 2 year olds really like playing with crayons, markers, and chalk on paper. Guess it depends on the kid
We do all kinds of arts and crafts for ages 1 on up. Today we made penguins. It was not a huge deal for me to take time cutting for my 2 year old. The one on one time was nice.

I think everyone needs to decide what is best for them and their program. I love the interaction and to see where they glue the eyes and beaks.

Some want to pass out the stuff for crafts and walk away.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:31 AM
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Its just busy work for the adult.
yes it is.
It also is a main reason why parents and daycare providers don't do art with infants.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:21 PM
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We do all kinds of arts and crafts for ages 1 on up. Today we made penguins. It was not a huge deal for me to take time cutting for my 2 year old. The one on one time was nice.

I think everyone needs to decide what is best for them and their program. I love the interaction and to see where they glue the eyes and beaks.

Some want to pass out the stuff for crafts and walk away.
I love when the beak is on the feet, the eyes on the bottom, one eye on a toe.... Had a coworker who told the kds where they had to put stuff. I hated that! You know what? I havent done a good glue it project lately. May tear up some green paper for them to glue on there dinosaurs tomorrow instead of using the bingo dabbers (so much less messy too!)
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:34 PM
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I love when the beak is on the feet, the eyes on the bottom, one eye on a toe.... Had a coworker who told the kds where they had to put stuff. I hated that! You know what? I havent done a good glue it project lately. May tear up some green paper for them to glue on there dinosaurs tomorrow instead of using the bingo dabbers (so much less messy too!)
Before to do any art it is necessary to get kids ready.
If it is some bird art the teacher should give to kids some toy-bird. The kids touch toy, teacher introduce them bird's body parts, name them, point them where are birds eyes, beak, tail.... and only after that kids start "making" a bird art. Yes, I will stop a child which put a bird's eye on the wrong place by asking some questions and showing where eyes are on the toy. I will not point on the right place where a kid should glue it. I will encourage him to find the right place. It is how they learn.
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