Early Childhood Exhibit Opening

Join us for the exhibit opening of Early Childhood on Friday, April 5th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM for the opening of this wonderful exhibit and learn how quality early learning leads to success! Refreshments will be provided.

In honor of Week of the Young Child (April 8-12), Month of the Military Child, and Day of the Child (April 30), Four Rivers Cultural Center is pleased to invite the public to view an exhibit of local children’s art! This celebration of children’s art is brought to you by the Focused Child Care Network, a group of Family Child Care Providers, all of whom are located throughout three Eastern Oregon counties, Malheur, Baker, and Wallowa.


Each of the child care providers represented in the exhibit are actively pursuing the highest quality of care and education for the young children in their programs. The Focused Child Care Network increases the supply of high quality care and education, linking early learning with school success. High-quality early childhood experiences, school readiness, and later life success are linked.


Given the impact on brain development that early experiences have, it is not surprising that several studies have uncovered significant long-term impacts of creative environments. They highlight how creative activities that encourage positive relationships can support the rapid blooming of synapses, leading to the formation of well-rounded personalities, good attachment, self-esteem and better mental health. (Zero to Three: Brain Development)


When children draw, paint, and scribble, cut and glue, use play-dough, finger paint, use beads, macaroni, objects and string, children learn to use small muscles, writing skills, creativity and ways to express themselves, colors, about cause and effect, patience, communicate ideas, problem-solving, and self-confidence. Through process art, children also learn fine motor skills, gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, language, cooperation, wonder, thinking, risk-taking, problem solving, counting, colors, shapes, dimensions, measuring, physics, storytelling, expression, team building, time management, to explore, to daydream, to ask, to relax, to challenge, to pause, to observe, about creativity, and about being themselves.


Children normally go through developmental stages in how they draw and create artwork. Toddlers, from the first time they hold a crayon until around age three, scribble. They marvel that their movements create marks. Young toddlers are building wrist and hand muscle control, grasping strength, and eye-hand coordination, so their scribbles begin by sprawling all over the page, or being focused in one narrow location, with little interest in the image that results. They progress to more controlled use of lines around age three. Between the ages of three and four, preschoolers gain more small muscle control and perceptual abilities and begin to form simple, rudimentary shapes. Three-year-olds usually master circles, which emerge from controlled scribbling. Circles are the simplest shape to make. Aligning lines and creating corners enables preschoolers to create squares. Most four year olds can imitate making cross marks, squares and triangles, then progress to initiating these shapes on their own, with no model to follow. Around four years of age, children begin to combine shapes to make nearly recognizable objects, like a person or house. Prior to age four, children create “non-representation” artwork, meaning their creations don’t “represent” anything, at least not any object others would recognize. At five years of age, children draw pictorial images. Their people have limbs and show motion. Their butterflies include colorful sections and details with antennae and wings. As children mature in age and have more art experiences, they learn how to use line, color, shape/form, and texture to communicate thoughts and feelings, visually. As children learn about the principles of visual organization: unity, variety, balance, repetition, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, proportion, perspective, composition and movement, their artwork becomes more sophisticated. The development of a young artist is a marvelous sight to behold.


School readiness is difficult to define. It is more than knowing your ABCs or being able to count to twenty. Children’s readiness can be assessed across three general areas:

Physical Well-Being and Motor Development: Children will have developed fine motor skills (cutting, dressing self), gross motor skills (running, jumping), and will be well-rested and well-nourished.

Social and Emotional Development: Children will be able to have positive interactions with others and be able to self-regulate their behavior as well as understand and express their feelings. They will also be able to solve conflicts, empathize with others and have the ability to take turns and share.

Cognitive and Language Development: Children will be able to observe, ask questions, and solve problems based on what they see and hear. They will have an enthusiastic and curious approach to new activities. Children will also be able to communicate with others and understand that there is a connection between letters and sounds


Ninety percent of brain development happens before age five. Quality early experiences matter.