Collaboration helps create connections

THE Tasmanian Early Years’ Foundation (TEYF), in conjunction with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s (TMAG) AccessArt educators, recently launched Creative Connections in the Early Years (Creative Connections).

Creative Connections is a 12-month project, funded through the Myer Foundation and the TEYF, which will investigate opportunities to increase creative and arts experiences for children in the first six years of life.

Creative Connections TEYF project consultant Leigh Tesch, three-year-old Claudia Todd, TMAG art educator Rosie McKeand and Jemma Voss, also three, engage in drawing.
Creative Connections TEYF project consultant Leigh Tesch, three-year-old Claudia Todd, TMAG art educator Rosie McKeand and Jemma Voss, also three, engage in drawing.

The project, which will involve community consultation and two pilot workshops, will promote the crucial role the early yeas of life play in human development and wellbeing.

TMAG art educator Rosie McKeand said the range of exciting workshops, forums and resources will help increase the awareness of the importance of encouraging creativity in young children.

“Children express and explore ideas and concepts through art – their representations are their way of communicating and making their thinking visible,” Rosie said.

“We will discuss the importance of giving children the opportunity and time to work with art materials in a safe and encouraging environment that allows for the playfulness to think imaginatively.”

The workshops, which will involve carers, artists and art educators, will ensure children receive quality art experiences, skills development and opportunities to model their own creations.

Tasmanian Early Years Foundation chief executive officer Mark Green said the trial programs would celebrate personal creativity through creative play, and provide the opportunity to build skills and confidence in caring for young children.

“The trial programs will be held in September and October, with one in the south for out-of-home children (three to six years) and their carers, and the second in the north at the Beaconsfield Child and Family Centre,” Mark said.

Creative Connections will develop networks between Early Years practitioners, parents, arts and community sectors to enhance the creative learning experiences of young children.

For more information see http://www.earlyyears.org.au/research/creative_connections_in_the_early_years

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