Early Childhood & the Arts

By |2020-04-03T08:27:25-07:00January 9th, 2017|

Typhani Harris | January 2017

Early Childhood & the Arts

It is common knowledge that children are playful and need to explore and play, build and create, but how often do we associate this with their brain development?

A playful childhood isn’t just fun, it is imperative to creating a fully developed brain.  Research states that “the prime time to develop specific knowledge, skills, and competencies is in the first few years of a child’s life” (EarlyArts).  Burnadette Duffy (2006) further expounds that “by encouraging creativity and imagination, we are promoting children’s ability to explore and comprehend their world and increasing their opportunities to make new connections and reach new understandings.”  Creativity and opportunity for activities that promote imagination also build children’s self esteem and personalities.  There is also a connection between musical experiences and mathematical processing.  David Sousa, a Florida Superintendent, acknowledged that the most powerful effects are found in programs that integrate the arts with subjects in the core curriculum, suggesting that “arts integration causes both students and teachers to rethink how they view the arts and generates conditions that are ideal for learning.”

We know this, so how do we implement this fully?  Here is a Resource Roundup of ten awesome sites with hundreds of arts integrated activities and lessons for early childhood education. Enjoy!


KinderArt gathered and listed multiple preschool/early childhood education art lesson plans.  Their activities are best suited for ages 2 to 5 years. offers a full list of preschool arts and crafts activities.  They have hundreds of crafts for creativity, with a mix of crafts and actual arts lessons.

Incredible @rt Department

Incredible @rt Department provides multiple pre-school and early childhood lessons.  They are categorized by grade level, subject, integration, art period, artist, and medium.

Hot Chalk

Hot Chalk has 64 pages of lesson plans, for teachers by teachers.  This site is very user friendly as all pre-kindergarten and preschool lesson plans for art subjects can be filtered and sorted.

A to Z Teacher Stuff

A to Z teacher stuff offers a list of various art plans, however there is no sorting of filtering capabilities so you do have to sift through the various plans.


Funderstanding has multiple early childhood development and kids art activities.

Art and Creativity in Early Childhood Education

Art and Creativity in Childhood operates under the knowledge that art is good brain food.  They know that art engages children’s senses in open-ended play and develops cognitive, social-emotional and multi-sensory skills and have build activities that foster childhood development.

Gryphon House

Gryphon House knows that through stimulating art activities, educators and parents can harness children’s natural inquisitiveness. They have multiple art activities for infants, toddlers and preschoolers created by experts in early childhood care and education.

Early Childhood Teacher

Early Childhood Teacher has compiled a list of free online resources to help keep your teaching tools sharp and up-to-date.

We Are Teachers

We are Teachers provides 5 High-Impact, Low-Prep Activities for Creative Arts in Early Childhood that are sure to be the most impactful part of your curriculum.

About the Author

Dr. Typhani Harris, author of Putting the Performance in Performance Task and Stop Teaching, brings over 2 decades of educational experience to The Institute. Originally a high school English Language Arts teacher, Dr. Harris transitioned into a dance educator who cultivated an award-winning collegiate style dance education program at a public school in California. Prior to joining the Institute, she was an educational leader and instructional coach specializing in preparing new teachers in secondary urban schools.  As the Chief Academics Officer, Dr. Harris maintains courses, conferences, and the accredited certification program at The Institute.