Art activities and experiences offer an important way for children to gain a sense of control and mastery of their environment and to grow in self-expression, self-awareness and self-esteem. To create an art piece, people need to plan, organise and show discipline. At Side by Side we use different art techniques and create different art pieces. Side by Side uses a sensory-based art programme, using practical, fun activities to enhance sensory motor skills and improve tactile and concept awareness. The activities used emphasise stimulating one or more of the senses through manipulation and exploration of materials and mediums, and have been designed to arouse each child’s curiousity, creativity and sense of mastery. They may be expressive art activities or craft activities.
Expressive art activities are used purely as a way for children to explore, create, discover and express their feelings and emotions. Craft activities focus on using prepared materials and following directions in a sequential manner, with each child still encouraged to incorporate his or her own ideas. Craft activities are designed to provide an end product. Activities promote fine-motor, cognitive and problem solving skills. Music is also a large part of Side by Side’s creative arts programme. We listen to music, participate in sing-a-longs and experiment with instruments. Music helps with relaxation, self expression, creativity, understanding of language and emotions and cognitive development.