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I have some experience working with this age group; they are very much at a developmental stage where they learn by being involved in new, interesting experiences. To me, having them do, as you said, "cutsie" adult created projects which all turn out looking the same or like an adult's example, is very counter-productive and just dosen't give them much of anything useful (except for, maybe, direction-following skills). I think they get a lot more out of being given a chance to experiment with media, being shown interesting ways of using things to create (ie printing with small toys in tempera, fingerpainting on a table then pulling a monoprint from it, markers on paper taped to the wall, etc.). These things may not produce the type of art that kids in magazine ads are always shown making ( adult-created "kid's" art in ads really bugs me!), but for 2 - 5 year olds, the process is so much more important than the product. :-)
Lydia in Toledo
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