The Harvest: Art Education for Preschoolers

Prozoe
Posted October 1, 2020 from South Africa
The Harvest
The Harvest (1/3)

When I was a little girl, I used to play in the mud, it was such an amazing thing to be able to build almost anything that I set my mind to with just sand and water made perfectly into mud by last night's rain. I can assure you that back then, I did not know the value of what I was doing, I would not have been able to tell you that I am having the ultimate sensory experience, or that I am exploring nature, or that I am learning about concepts such as wet and dry, big and small and all of the foundational stuff in cognitive perceptual development, of fine motor skills of any of the areas of development. I was simply a little girl, passing time, doing something that felt good and happy. Today many years later, my mind is completely overwhelmed by how much more there is to play with for children these days, by how much there is to learn in all of what there is to play with for children these days. You see I have come to look at things as though they are tools, tools intentionally intended to serve a purpose in our lives and existence as they cross our paths, and boy, how many tools children have access to, tools that have the ability to edify and equip them to wholly develop. To, by so much, come to reach their fullest potential. Tools that I have learnt, are not fully explored as means to enhance educational development. Tools that are not intentionally used to highlight the beauty and intelligence of tiny humans through the process of their development. And that is what led me to the creation of "The Harvest". 

 

The Harvest means " A taking away of all things great from a wholesome labour." The potential of children and the capacity of their growth is not optimized. The Harvest is an exploration of an element of teaching that can drastically bring out the best in children and equip them with the kind of knowledge that could greatly improve the chances of successful holistic child development. And that element is ART! The Harvest is an intentional Teaching Initiative that uses creative means to enhance the educational development of Preschoolers. Its mandate is to highlight the role and impact of the arts in whole-child development. it comprises of Targeted development art kits, intentionally put together to address certain developmental drawbacks in each individual child. 

I have been so fortunate to have been funded by the National Arts Council (NAC), An agency of the Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa, an organisation whose mission it is to leverage energy, partnerships and resources to develop, support, promote and advance the arts. The NAC coming on board The Harvest, was the spark that ignited the fire of this project and my gratitude for the role it plays in continuing to materialise this initiative goes far beyond what words can cover. The project is blessing a number of children in the community at no cost at all. 

 

So this is the story in my heart today, a story of tiny hands with big hearts and explosively creative minds. A story of stories told by tiny humans, through art, whilst they find their feet and words, their sense of colour and the true image of what warmth looks like and what life feels like. A story about ladies with rainbow dresses and snowman grandfathers sitting on table tops. Kitchen island family portraits, bubble wrapped feet paintings.  My story today is about how the arts can transform, inform and open up a portal for us, into the minds and hearts of tiny humans and how the arts can through littles, inspire the kind of looking at things, that our grown up imaginations, have long lost. So much more than this, my story is about how the role and impact of the Arts, Should not be undermined in the educational development of Preschool aged children.

Open yourself up to the messy creations and the drawings on the walls, because beyond that mess, is the expression of a growing tiny human, looking to communicate their minds and hearts the best way they know how. receive it and nurture it into the beauty that it was always meant to be. 

Yours in Joy, via the energies of The Harvest, with immeasurable amounts of Love. 

This story was submitted in response to Art for Change.

Comments 13

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Nini Mappo
Oct 01
Oct 01

Hello dear Prozoe,
You make such a good case for our little people, especially those drawings on the wall. Because those drawings on the wall are increasingly littering my wall, quite unwelcome décor, but wholly unavoidable especially in our indoor-bound times.
Your post reminds me of something I heard, "Don't stop a child from playing in the sand. Let that child grow, and they'll stop playing in the sand." And alas, as you write, the child needs the 'sand' to grow.

You must have a special kind of patience and passion to embark on this project of teaching through. Good on you! That is a strength I don't have. (I rely on words to paint/draw images he hee)
I'm glad that you got funding to pursue this tactile learning experience with little people. And can only imagine all the things that will come out of their little minds and hearts to make you smile and think!
Have fun:)

Prozoe
Oct 04
Oct 04

Hi Nini

You know when I finished school, the first offer I got was a full bursary to study education, but because I wanted something different from what everyone I knew wanted, I declined. I found myself right back at that point 9 years ago after my 1st born, the only thing my heart was truly drawn to, despite everything that I had explored over the years of study, was children and growing them. I never knew that I had the patience, I believe God anointed me, I don't know how else to explain my passion and constantly growing desire to be around and to advocate on behalf of children and their growth.

As for the drawings on the wall (lols) I designated certain walls with certain responsibilities to certain tiny humans, so the little control I can have, I am fully taking advantage of, otherwise trying to negotiate with a 3 year old on where to let out their creative self is a tough battle to win.

And yes, you could not have said it any better, "A child needs the sand to grow" a fact that our modern society is doing away with because of all the shinny expensive "not so messy" ways of play. We should really just let the child, be the child and deal with being adults. (lots more words and feelings behind , within and underneath this statement.)

Thanks for reading Nini. I am sure having plenty of fun, advantages of letting my inner child out to breathe from time to time. Sometimes I have to pause and check myself, to make sure that I am not having all the fun by myself. (chuckles and more chuckles plus hides)

SADRAG
Oct 04
Oct 04

Hi Prozoe,
Art is an excellent medium for children to express and grow. I am sure that the harvest would bloom the children as they should.
All the Best
mala

Prozoe
Oct 04
Oct 04

Hi SADRAG

Thank you so much, I believe so as well. And you are right, it is an excellent medium. I love how limitless it can be once we just let the tiny humans take the wheel
A great way to let children show us how we should teach for them to learn, since they don't always learn in the way we teach.

Thank you for reading. Keep well and many blessings to you and yours.

Sujit
Oct 04
Oct 04

Congratulations!

julie_4
Oct 04
Oct 04

Amazing story..congratulations on all your efforts and ongoing success for the future. You are doing a great service.

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 04
Oct 04

Hi Prozoe,
Those children are so lucky to cross paths with you. I so agree that art, in all its messy and fun forms, are so important and so much fun. I loved reading about your very young mud puddle days. Congratulations on your recognition, that brought you funding. Those children who get to spend time with you are so lucky! Yes, art is like growing a harvest!

Prozoe
Oct 09
Oct 09

Hi mamma Tam
Thank you so much, I believe I am the lucky one to have the opportunity to experience their creativity and learn a thing or 2 that is new from them myself. I am super excited about this harvest.

#Biglove

MUKABA ZAWADI
Oct 09
Oct 09

I'm glad you got funding to continue this tactile learning experience with small people. And I can only imagine all the things that will come out of their little mind and little heart to make you smile and think!
thank you for the courage and go ahead

Prozoe
Oct 09
Oct 09

Hi Mukaba

Thank you for the encouragement. I am right with you on that imagination boat.

Thanks for reading.

#Hugs

Sheroo
Oct 10
Oct 10

Hello Prozoe!

I like the work you're doing, it's so creative. I have always thought art does wonders and you're only confirming that. Thank you for showing the world that art helps even the little ones to express themselves.
Well done! Keep doing more, the world needs you!

Mariama Kallon
Oct 12
Oct 12

Hello prozoe.
Thanks very much for being there for the children,what a great opportunity for children that will benefit this.
You remember me of my young age,when I was a small girl I used to draw emotional things on wall with mud and up til now am so passionate about art and drawing.
Art is an excellent medium for children to express and grow. I pray that harvest would bloom the children as they should.
Pray God's richest blessings on you,Harvest and they children.
Much love,More hugs.
Mariama Kallon

Sabiha Hasan
Oct 13
Oct 13

It's a beautiful initiative and journey.