don't move the muffin tins

Bev Bos, who served as director of Roseville Community Preschool for almost 50 years, was an early childhood educator with incredible expertise about play-based learning, process art and developmentally-appropriate learning experiences for preschoolers.  There is no one in the field of early childhood who hasn’t been impacted by her work.  She was quoted as once saying, “The basics for young children are wonder, discovery and experience.  If it hasn’t been in the hand, the body and the heart, it can’t be in the brain.”

We have her seminal work on children and art: Don’t Move the Muffin Tins: A Hands-Off Guide to Art for the Young Child.  There is so much goodness in the book, too much to share in one post, so I’ll leave you all with some quotes and implore you to seek out a copy of Don’t Move the Muffin Tins for yourself.  I got this copy, used, years ago.  It’s out of print but shouldn’t be too hard to find.  Bev Bos will help you provide experiences for your child so that they can tap into their innate creativity through exploration and making their own choices.  It will teach you how to listen to your child in ways that you’ve never thought of.

“The young child grows from the head down and the midline out.  If we are in tune to the child’s growth, we know, for example, that a two-year-old will probably not paint or draw circles.  Does this mean a different set of activities for each age?  Certainly not.  We need only to learn to present materials and let each child develop an individual creativity.

Children need to please only themselves.  Does this mean the child can throw the paint?  Spill the glue?  Of course not.  I’m referring to basic use of art materials.  Once you’ve presented the materials, forget how *you* intended them to be used.  Sometimes it’s difficult.  You may have one end product in mind, but the child may have another idea.  If that’s the case, hands off!  It’s easier to observe this principle in art activity than in crafts because there is no right or wrong in art, of course, just creating.”