Understanding Art and Heart

In September, I send large folders home to children and their families to decorate, together.  Throughout the year, these folders are used to transport their child’s art work each time we send it home.  It’s our Art Pony Express, delivering precious cargo all year long.  Decorating the folder together is a nice family activity.  More importantly, it says that art is important– and a child’s work is important.  Because it is.

The folders have been decorated and returned.  They are beautiful and heartfelt.  Today one of our youngest child’s folder was returned.  My throat swelled.  So did my heart.

Yes!  Art is a universal language.  The parents understand.  This drawing was hard work for a child who is not yet three-years-old.  Look at the focus and multiple colors.  The child wanted to say, “I really like art”, yet he does not yet have all those words that are in his heart.  What he does have is art tools to speak his words.  And he spoke them well.

Yes, art is a universal language.

I have a handful of paperclipped writings and quotes beside my computer.  They mean the world to me.  When I saw this decorated folder, I immediately thought of “It took me a lifetime to learn to draw like a child.” by Picasso, and “I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” by Monet.  This parent eclipsed them and said it best of all.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in art, Early Education, Imagination, Inspiration, Quotes, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Understanding Art and Heart

  1. Barbie Pyles says:

    So sweet and so much truthfulness to your post and this budding artists folder❤️!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Luanne says:

    You’re a treasure, Jennie.

  3. MakeItUltra™ says:

    Beautiful post!

  4. Love this! Art Pony Express — yes.

  5. beetleypete says:

    Lovely quotes, Jennie. Picasso nailed it. The truth of a child’s art is something untainted by style and influence. The colourful spiral says it all.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  6. Beautiful story! True. I used to teach art in the schools (volunteer) until they made the rules for doing so much stiffer (which I don’t understand as the teacher is in the room with you.) Kids were the most fun of all to teach! They especially loved it when I said no rules other than only on your own paper!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you so much. Yes, opened ended art is the best. How can a child be an artist if there are stiff rules that close the mind and the heart? It might sound like just words, but it’s true. I’m so glad you had no rules art with your students!

  7. Darlene says:

    How wonderful. This child is fortunate to have such astute parents. What a good start to life.

  8. Lovely idea and post, Jennie. I like that you told them to have the families decorate the folders together. I hope they really did.
    Have a beautiful weekend. Hugs!

  9. Beautiful artwork. I love it and know that it took effort. Great quotes, Jennie, all three. 🙂

  10. Norah says:

    How gorgeous, Jennie, and how true. A picture tells a thousand words – to all who see it.

  11. How marvelous, Jennie. My niece is now four years old and she makes the most lovely fondant art pieces. It is amazing what these children can achieve.

  12. dgkaye says:

    So beautiful Jennie. So many, young and old have trouble expressing themselves and use art as their medium to express as writers and musicians do too. 🙂 x

  13. ~M says:

    I really love your thoughts on this and I had never heard the quotes you shared by Picasso and Monet. They were both brilliant painters and obviously well-versed in words as well. 😉

  14. This is a beautiful post Jennie.. Art is indeed so important a form of expression.. And I think this is a splendid idea allowing all the family to get involved.. And yes, precious cargo it is too… I have saved most all of my granddaughters offerings of art and intent to put them in a large folder for her.. I write the age she started painting, which was aged three.. And I allowed her to create some for her parents on canvas, which they proudly have on their hall wall..
    You are a wonderful teacher.. And it must be wonderful to be in your class.. 🙂 Oh to be a child again and have you teaching me… Maybe my days at school would not have been so daunting lol..
    Much Love Jennie.. ❤
    Hugs Sue 🙂

  15. Nice! Wonderful that your little pupil’s parents really do get it!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank goodness! When we get deep into art, I think I’ll call the children who pour their souls into their work a “heartist”. This came from a fellow blogger, Laura Bruno. I love it!

  16. reocochran says:

    Just wonderful of these amazing parents and you know they are the kind who will frame them!
    Jennie thanks for reminding us of Monet and Picasso. I did a post with the Picasso quote painted on an art room’s hallway bulletin board! My granddaughter, Marley is standing by a case of art and puppets. 🙂

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  18. lorraineanne says:

    so touching and so much truth to this!

  19. This is beautiful! I have many of my son’s art projects framed around my home.

  20. zumayya says:

    So true.

  21. Ted says:

    Much Love Jennie.

  22. marandarussell says:

    Aw, so sweet 🙂

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