A large playing factor in the choice of preschool for your child is the curriculum that the preschool offers. A school that truly cares about their calling as an educational institution will include a balanced curriculum that founds itself on creativity as one of the pillars. This is not just a nice idea, but rather it is important to stay up to date with child development research and a methodology that is practically effective. Modern research highlights the importance of a creative curriculum in childhood development.
What is a creative preschool curriculum
Creative arts include activities that are more “hands-on” such as art, dance, music and drama. These activities stimulate the growth of a child’s abilities and the development of their mind flexibility. Through these activities, all domains of a child’s development are accessed – cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical. The intentions of creative activities are to be purposefully open-minded, to stimulate divergent thinking, and encourage attention on the process rather than the end product.
The field of early childhood education is making monumental strides forward in contributing to the building blocks of later school success. Creative arts, in the space of preschool education curriculum, include any activities that engage a child’s imagination. A creative curriculum emphasizes the importance of the process and journey so every activity becomes a learning experience.
Studies have found that purposeful and productive play in various creative forms result in memory development, symbolic thinking, constructive approaches to learning, positive social skills, language, literacy and math skills.
Benefits of a creative preschool curriculum
- Various creative arts help with the development of both gross and fine motor skills.
- Creative arts provide an outlet to explore and gain control over emotional range.
- Researchers have attributed cognitive development to creative activities. Triggering of imagination stimulates and expands mental capacities.
- Creative learning processes also exposes children to an increasingly socially integrated environment where they can further learn from one another.
Essentially, a creative preschool curriculum does not only benefit a child’s imagination, but also has a long-term developmental impact on physical, mental and emotional abilities.
Music as a case study
Music is an effective way to incorporate creativity into a preschool curriculum. A five-year study conducted by the Brain and Creativity Institute at University of Southern California investigated the effects of group-based music training with a group of six and seven-year-olds. After two years of the study, findings have suggested that music training during childhood can accelerate brain development and sound processing.
Children that were exposed to music training had a faster development of the brain pathway that is responsible for encoding and processing sound.
Theatre as a case study
Theatre, drama and puppetry are another channel used to tap into a child’s creative development – especially in exploring, displaying and regulating emotions. By playing various roles and negotiating with these characters, there are opportunities for problem solving, negotiating gender roles and exploring expression.
Art as a case study
A simple activity such as holding a pair of scissors to cut out a shape has a positive impact on improving a child’s dexterity (later used for writing). Exposure to art introduces an entire vocabulary to language development, including a well of visual information to be interpreted and criticized. Art encourages inventiveness and innovation through visual expression.
In conclusion, preschool is the big developmental step towards further education. As a foundational element, make sure that you choose a preschool that offers a creative curriculum that prioritizes all aspects of your child’s growth. At Parkland’s Children’s Academy, we pride ourselves on a preschool curriculum that focuses on all facets of your child’s progress.