Component 1: Experimentation and Participation in the Creative Arts

Learning Goal 1.a: Children gain appreciation for and participate in the creative arts.

By 9 months, most children:

  • Show curiosity and explore sensory materials; enjoy feeling various pleasing sensations and textures
  • Gaze at pictures, photographs, and mirror images
  • Attend to bright and/or contrasting colors
  • Respond to music and being sung to by listening and moving their heads, arms, and legs
  • Imitate by babbling during or after an adult sings or chants
  • Make eye contact with singers
  • Move their bodies with some intent and control
  • Engage in social play with adults
  • Use objects as tools to make sounds, for example, banging blocks together with adult help

By 18 months, most children:

  • Recognize and associate a certain song or sound with a particular meaning (e.g., hearing a nap-time song and thinking that it’s safe, secure, and time to nap)
  • Use facial expressions, sound (e.g., vocalizations, clapping), and movement to encourage singers or music to continue
  • Use sounds and their voice as they play or look at books with adults
  • Make loud noises just for fun, such as screaming or yelling
  • Make movements and sounds in response to cues in songs and finger plays
  • Stand with feet wide apart and sways to the sound of music
  • Use a variety of materials in exploring and creating visual art
  • Create marks with crayons, paints, and chalk
  • Enjoy producing music and other sounds with simple instruments (e.g., triangles, tambourines, etc.)
  • Engage in more complex play sequences based on an understanding of everyday events and routines (e.g., pretending to drink from a cup and then saying “Ah!” when finished)

By 24 months, most children:

  • Talk or sing to themselves for comfort or enjoyment
  • Stop, turn their head to listen, and watch when music or other rhythmic sounds play on a TV
  • Squeeze soft clay and dough into abstract shapes
  • Repeat the same song over and over
  • Dance alone or with others
  • “Play” musical instruments (e.g., attempting to blow into a whistle or harmonica)
  • Seek out imaginative play opportunities with trusted adults
  • Explore roles through imaginative play, such as saying “boo” to an adult and acting scared when the adult says “boo” to them

By 36 months, most children:

  • Demonstrate preferences for favorite colors
  • Move their bodies with increasing skill to express emotions and rhythms
  • Create representations of real objects in art work
  • Create new songs and dances or add their own words to songs with support from adults
  • Dance to music in a group with support from adults
  • March with musical instruments with support from adults
  • Imitate simple songs and finger-play movements
  • Watch and copy other children’s play activities
  • Use imaginative play as a vehicle to express their own life experiences and familiar stories
  • Tell about their artistic creations

By 48 months, most children:

  • Express preferences for some different types of art, music, and drama
  • Enjoy and engage with displays of visual art and experiences with music and drama, inside or outside the classroom
  • Notice and communicate about art, music, and drama
  • Explore musical instruments and use them to produce rhythms and tones
  • Mold and build with dough and clay and then identify and sometimes name their creation (e.g., “I made a dog and his name is Spot.”)
  • Act out the plots and characters found in familiar stories
  • Participate in pretend play with other children
  • Choose their own art for display in the classroom or for inclusion in a portfolio or book and briefly explain their choice

By 60 months, most children:

  • Apply vocal skills to instruments to produce more complex rhythms, tones, melodies, and songs
  • Intentionally create content in a work of art (e.g., a picture, a play-dough sculpture, etc.)
  • Write and act out stories based upon familiar topics or characters
  • Enjoy and engage with displays of visual art, music, and drama and may express clear preferences for types of artwork or art activities.
  • Plan art and show increasing care and persistence in completing it
  • Choose own art for display in the classroom or for inclusion in a portfolio or book and explain their choices and preferences in some detail
  • Communicate about elements appearing in art, music, and drama