Product Code:
545981 (Softbound)
978-1-60554-598-1 (Softbound)
Age Focus: 0-8
Full Color
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Published by Redleaf Press Free sample chapter

Start practicing open-ended art in early childhood classrooms

Open-ended art is defined as art activity where children are free to use their imagination as they explore a variety of materials without a planned outcome. When teachers embrace open-ended art, they emphasize the process of creating and observe the developmental growth being experienced by the children. Open-ended art provides children an important opportunity to think about, feel, and express ideas. It helps teachers slow down the pace of the day and appreciate the beauty that comes from simple experimentation with art materials.

There are many books available to educators that include art ideas and projects, but Open-Ended Art for Young Children goes beyond the basics to highlight why the field of early childhood education advocates for open-ended art and explains how to adapt to new ways of thinking about art. Authors Dr. Tracy Galuski and Dr. Mary Ellen Bardsley present, chapter by chapter, the challenges teachers encounter when faced with best practices and expectations related art process and product, such as such as getting families on board, how to stretch your budget, sensory activities and children with special needs, and do we really need to give messy toddlers free access to materials?

Each chapter begins with a classroom vignette that describes the challenge, followed by a plethora of solutions grounded in research and illustrated through practical examples. Each chapter includes full color pictures and photos, and ends with an activity or investigation for reflection.

168 pages



Authors Mary Ellen Bardsley and Tracy Galuski answered our questions about their path to Early Childhood, learning outcomes for art, and how to implement open-ended art for infants. Click here to read their Author Spotlight interview.

About Mary Ellen Bardsley

Dr. Mary Ellen Bardsley, an associate professor at Niagara University, has been involved in early childhood education for over fifteen years. Dr. Bardsley holds a doctoral and master’s degree from more..

About Tracy Galuski, PhD

Dr. Tracy Galuski has worked in the field of early childhood education for many years. Serving initially as a toddler teacher, she moved into different roles such as preschool teacher, child care more..