Creative skills of pretending, imagining, thinking, fantasising and inventing help children deal with the world in which they live. These skills help in problem-solving, getting along with others and understanding the world. When used in variety of art forms, these skills build self-confidence.
At this age children can deal with ideas about things and characters that are not present. They become more attentive to the chain of events, incongruities and surprises in the plot, and are able to discuss what they like or do not like about the plot.
They are also more project-minded now. They spend time planning how to construct buildings, express themselves through drawings and play out scenarios. They have discussions about possible scenarios and who is to do what.
Many five to six year olds show better control in writing and drawing. Their drawings are now more recognisable, with sky and ground corresponding to size relations. Their stick people have up to six or seven body parts. They can draw objects with details, copy the alphabet, and even write some letters from memory.
In addition to building, role playing, speaking, singing, and dancing, five to six year olds are becoming increasingly fascinated with capturing (snap shots), recording (saving) and editing transitory event, such as music, voices, and movements.
WHAT YOU CAN DO?
Construct a basic maze. Show your child how to build a basic maze using long blocks for the walls of the passages. Allow him to include turns, blind passages and dead ends, all leading to an end point. This allows your child to experiment, learn about directions while building on his creative and gross motor skills.
Take photographs. Photographs provide a lasting memory of your child's creative efforts. After the building phase is completed, he can take photographs of his creations and even write stories about them. Invite your child to then share the photographs and stories with family and friends. This not only makes his learning visible too others, it enhances his self-esteem and encourages creativity.
Extend and enrich block play. Introduce props and accessories such as vehicles, labels, street signs, miniature people figurines and animals to enrich your child’s block play experiences. Simple art supplies or books can also stimulate block play. Give your child the time, space and materials to create all sorts of structures. Sustained block play develops your child’s understanding about geometry and physical space, allows him to create and represent meanings and increases his sense of empowerment.
Express through art. Collect songs or musical pieces of various moods - sad songs, happy songs, marches, holiday songs, seasonal songs and so on. Play one of the songs and have your child draw, paint or scribble to express a mood created by the music. Discuss how he represents the mood of the song through his art work will increase his awareness of how the creative process can be used to deal with the emotions elicited.
Introduce your child to musical moods. Encourage your child to respond to the different musical moods and express how he feels when he listens to it them. Discuss how he feels about the music, what kind of scene he can imagine and how he will move to the music. Your child might even create stories to match the mood of the music. This will help your child become more aware of the different ways of expressing himself self-expression.
Maintain a scrap container. This is a container into which your child may throw paper scraps, styrofoam or cloth. Your child can put these materials to new uses by creating art projects from them. This helps him to re-think how the materials that he might otherwise consider as garbage can be put to good use.
Make simple rhythm instruments. Begin by encouraging him to explore different materials and the kinds of sounds they make. Offer paper plates, beans, cardboard boxes, rubber bands, food containers, dry pasta, plastic bottles, sticks, metal cans, lids, string and so on.
Give your child opportunities, time and materials. Offer paper, writing tools, blocks, beads, clay and household items to play in unstructured situations. Resist the temptation to turn all play experiences into some form of learning experience.
Bring awareness to your child. By pointing out specifics about the unique elements in what he has made or produced, you can help your child to be aware about his explorations and discoveries. Comment on lines, shapes, colours, patterns, textures, how they are repeated, varied and arranged.
Allow your child to talk. Ask him about how his artwork was created, what it stands for and what it means to him. Respond in a positive and non-judgemental way.
Make a collage out of natural materials. Give your child a bag and take him for a walk to a specific outdoor location. Tell him to take samples of leaves, pebbles, twigs, grass, seeds and other such objects that have fallen to the ground. Caution him against picking any flowers or breaking twigs or branches from a tree.