Who uses Good Earth Art?
Good Earth Art is a resource for all ages, young and old.
Young children explore any project in the book no matter
what the age suggestion, as long as they have appropriate
help. Older children add maturity and experience to even the
most basic project, and will find all projects a challenge or
discovery even if the age suggested is younger than their
Adults using Good Earth Art will enjoy helping children
select suitable projects based on the materials or supplies on
hand, but will also enjoy using the art experiences for their
own creative enjoyment. The authors do!
What about saving materials?
Everyone is encouraged to save and collect supplies rather
than buying a product just to get to the resulting art material.
Some products are not particularly sound for the
environment, and their purchase is not recommended.
However, when left-over plastics, papers, styrofoams, and
other materials are found, saving and using them for art is
better than simply throwing them in the trash. Making use of
existing or left-over materials and product packaging is the
goal rather than purchasing the product.
Schools and offices often have great amounts of throwaways
that can be recycled into art. First look in the Index for
suggested materials, and then start searching for those
materials to save for art projects. You may never have to buy
anything in order to do the projects in Good Earth Art, other
than basic art supplies like paint and glue.
What's special about Good Earth Art?
The art experiences in Good Earth Art enable children to
acquaint themselves with the natural qualities of the earth
such as leaves, rocks, shells, dirt, wind, rain, and sunshine.
Children also learn to observe, create, and remain in touch
with our changing world, and to develop a caring attitude
towards the earth by learning to recycle and use materials for
art rather than throwing them away.
Is it the process of creating or the finished product that
matters in children's art?
Good Earth Art encourages children to explore and create
without worrying about the finished product. Children
experiment, make mistakes, try new ideas of their own, and
enjoy the thrill of the creative process. There is no right way
or wrong way for projects to turn out, just the joyful pleasant
process of the experience.
Given sufficient time for exploration and experimentation in
art, children will refine their work automatically and
independently. They will judge their own results and work
towards their own goals, often with the most incredible,
Explore. Experiment. Create. Enjoy the creative sparkle of
7 BUILDING BLOCKS TO CREATIVITY
Respect a child's ideas and efforts. Allow the child to experience
accomplishment by giving his creativity time and space, time to
work out ideas, and by giving imagination a chance.
2. Allow Non-Conformity
Let a child know that it is okay to listen to Thoreau's "different
drummer". It is desirable to break away from what everyone
else is doing.
3. Explore and Think
Encourage a child to think a project through, but first allow
exploration and experimentation without criticism. After experiencing
materials and ideas, thought patterns and plans of action
will fall into place.
Being introduced to new experiences, cultural events, games,
and activities encourages original thinking and imagining.
Provide materials for a child to explore with no particular
A child should be encouraged to respect his own ideas and the
ideas of those around him in order to develop new ideas.
Watching a child too closely can be limiting, as can fostering
competition or restricting choices. Praise freely and sincerely.
6. Imagination Permission
Give permission to the child to embrace imagination freely
without fear of criticism or outside control. People who do not
feel comfortable being imaginative hold themselves back from
creativity. Let imagining feel positive, and yes, even fun!
7. Thinking in New Ways
Encourage thinking in new ways. Try new things. Experiment
and explore and make mistakes. Learning from mistakes handson
is the best teacher available to each child. Encourage the
child to try the opposite way, the untraveled idea, the silly, or
the unusual. Discoveries can be made daily!