The Art at the Start project began with a collaboration between art psychotherapist Vicky Armstrong and experimental psychologist Dr Josephine Ross. Based in the University of Dundee, we are interested in the impact participation in art can have upon the social well-being of young children and how shared art experiences may help to build strong attachment relationships: What happens when young children make art together with their important adults? How does engagement with the arts contribute to a child’s individual development? How can we describe what is happening when making art? Can we show that art making is creating change in a measurable way?
Our project will explore a number of approaches to this question, looking at both art therapy and participative arts. We will be working in art galleries, health settings, the baby lab and even festivals.
The blog will aim to showcase ongoing research as well as providing suggestions of easy art making to try with little ones and some ideas for messy and sensory play experiences. We’re happy to get in a mess road testing them and we’ll try to show why they might be good for little ones (and their grown ups).