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Child Development Tracker

Home » 6 to 7 »

Creative Arts

Supporting Activities


Your child selects shapes, size and speed to create a virtual kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope Creations


Your child is the composer with this exciting electronic xylophone! Musical Magic


Cut and color masks of Arthur's friends and create a play. Act out Arthur


Have fun creating computer art in D.W.'s studio. Paint Studio

It's a Big Big World

Record a song with Smooch and Winslow and send it to a friend. Monkey Music

Books for Your Child

Reading to children every day is a great way for them to learn new skills. Try these read-aloud books about art for first graders.

A child's development in the creative arts varies greatly based on the child's experiences with art, music, dance, and theater. Given exposure and practice, six-year-olds use a wider variety of materials to create visual images that combine colors, forms, and lines. They can also remember the words and melodies to a number of songs, and may sing or play these songs on instruments. They can also be taught how to read music and write simple music notation. With dance, six-year-olds can create, imitate, and explore movement in response to a musical beat. The dramatic play of six-year-olds show greater creativity in the use of props, costumes, movements, and sounds. Children this age can also repeat simple text and cooperate with others in a dramatization.


  • Creates images that combine a variety of colors, forms, and lines. Can place forms in an orderly arrangement to make designs (e.g., creates a cut or torn-paper collage). Is able to manipulate a variety of materials to create 2-D or 3-D artwork (e.g., combines watercolor with collage, constructs inventive model buildings from cardboard). Selects ideas for works of art. Seeks to increase independence by trying new activities on his or her own. Often appreciates others' ability to depict objects realistically.

  • Develops knowledge of the differences among art materials (e.g., paint, clay, wood, videotape), techniques (e.g., overlapping, shading, varying size or color), and simple processes (e.g., additive and subtractive sculpture, where materials are added and taken away as part of the creative process). Is increasingly able to use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner. Describes in simple terms how different materials, techniques, and processes cause various responses (e.g., says, "The color blue in the picture makes me feel sad."). Makes basic choices about the structures and functions of art, as well as the media and techniques used to convey meaning (e.g., chooses a pencil and paper to draw a picture of a dog).

  • Often selects artwork that show families and groups. Can express ideas about personal artwork (e.g., identifies images in a drawing by saying, "This is a picture of my cat and my dog.").

  • Identifies simple ideas expressed in artwork using different media (e.g., says, "This is a picture of a boy with his dog."). Identifies color, texture, form, line, and emphasis in nature and in the manmade environment. Recognizes how different media (e.g., oil, watercolor, stone, metal), techniques, and processes can be used to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories, as well as evoke different responses in the viewer. Recognizes how different compositional, expressive features (e.g., colors or subjects evoking joy, sadness, or anger), and organizational principles (e.g., repetition, balance, emphasis, contrast, unity) cause different responses in the viewer.

  • Knows that history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other. Knows how people's experiences (e.g., cultural background, human needs) can influence the development of specific artwork. Identifies distinctive roles of artists in society (e.g., says, "Artists create things for us to look at and think about.").

  • Often prefers artwork that show families and groups. Can express ideas about personal artwork that may or may not refer to the image (e.g., describes a schematic drawing (circle for head, circle for body, lines for legs and arms) as a picture of her dog eating). Discusses artwork in terms of likes and dislikes. Identifies simple ideas about original artwork, portfolios, and exhibitions by peers and others (e.g., says, "She painted a picture of flowers."). Knows various purposes for creating works of visual art (e.g., for personal expression, to communicate an idea, in rituals and celebrations, etc.). Understands there are different responses to specific artwork (e.g., one person may find Monet's painting of waterlilies beautiful while another may find it messy). Knows how people's experiences (e.g., cultural background, human needs) can influence the development of specific artwork.

  • Draws and discusses visual images based on text descriptions. Identifies some literary and historical subject matter depicted in the visual arts. Experiments with light and the color spectrum to create visual effects. Works with basic geometric shapes to create artistic designs.


  • Responds through purposeful movement (e.g., swaying, skipping, dramatic play, painting) to a variety of musical selections.

  • Can remember the words and melodies to a number of songs. Is able to sing or play these songs on instruments in an expressive manner, either alone or with a group. In a group performance, can perform partner songs (two separate songs that can be performed simultaneously), rounds, and short musical patterns that are repeated throughout a song (ostinatos). Will start and stop as directed by a conductor.

  • Claps in time to a simple beat. When given a short melody or rhythm, can improvise another in the same style. Can use a variety of sound sources when composing, such as classroom instruments, electronic sounds, and body sounds.

  • Can listen to and identify simple music forms (e.g., AB form: when a song has two distinct melodies that are played in sequence). Is able to learn to identify elements of music notation (e.g., whole, half, dotted half, quarter, and eighth notes; rests in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 meter signatures). Can also write simple examples of music notation. Is able to identify a number of instruments by sight and sound. During music performances, starts to distinguish between higher/lower, louder/softer, faster/slower, and same/different.

  • Begins to practice appropriate audience behavior during musical performances. Knows personal preferences for specific musical works and styles.

  • Knows that different cultures have different types and styles of music. Knows that music can be suitable for specific uses (e.g., dances, weddings, in movies). Recognizes some roles of musicians in society (e.g., orchestra conductor, folksinger, church organist).

  • Sees connections between music and other disciplines (e.g., foreign languages: singing songs in various languages; language arts: using the expressive elements of music in interpretive readings; mathematics: mathematical basis of values of notes, rests, and time signatures; science: vibration of strings, drum heads, or air columns generating sounds used in music; geography: songs associated with various countries or regions).


  • Creates and imitates movement in response to a musical beat. Moves to a rhythmic accompaniment (e.g., drum beat) and responds to changes in the speed of music (tempo). Imitates body shapes (e.g., stretched, curled, angular, twisted). Can perform basic locomotor (e.g., hopping, walking, sliding, etc.) and nonlocomotor (e.g., bending, twisting, swinging, etc.) movements. Shows body awareness when performing movement skills, but has limited concentration and focus. Is able to explore factors of dance's spatial elements (e.g., personal and shared space, movement at different levels above the floor, moving in various directions around a room, size of movement) in response to verbal cues. With adequate exposure to dance instruction, can describe some basic movement elements (e.g., the height of the dancer from the floor, directions of movement). Shows early ability to remember movement sequences.

  • Recognizes and relates ideas and feelings in response to teacher-directed problem-solving tasks (e.g., teacher says, "Move your body at different levels from the floor in response to changes in the music's speed, or tempo."). Suggests meanings that locomotor and nonlocomotor movements can convey (e.g., light, quick skips suggest happiness).

  • Observes how improvisation is used to discover and invent movement. Can demonstrate basic partner skills (e.g., copying, leading and following, mirroring). Shows early ability to suggest appropriate movements in response to words, sounds, pictures, props, and/or stories.

  • Knows how dance is different from other forms of human movement (e.g., sports, everyday gestures). Knows how a dance may elicit various interpretations and reactions that differ from the meaning intended by the dancer. Knows the technical and artistic components of one or two forms of dance.

  • Knows that many cultures have their own dances. Is familiar with the cultural and historical context of a few dance forms, especially those found within their community.

  • Is able to understand how nutrition and safety can enhance the ability to dance.

  • Experiments with how movement can show understanding of principles in other disciplines (e.g., shapes in math, patterns in science, the mood of a poem). Tries to use other art forms to respond to dance (e.g., creates a painting that reflects a style of dance).


  • Uses specific actions and sounds to imitate people, animals, and the use of various objects. Is able to repeat simple text and cooperate with others in a dramatization.

  • Adapts the environment for dramatic play, using simple objects/props from the environment (e.g., a towel becomes a cape, blocks may represent items in a picnic). Recognizes that music, creative movement, and visual elements (e.g., props, costumes) can contribute to dramatic play. Demonstrates ways to use space, movement, and one's voice to create characters, express emotions, incorporate relevant objects, or to imitate natural events.

  • Can identify the characters and setting in simple dramatic activities, as well as some of the ways that sound, movement, and space are used in productions. In considering dramatic characters, can recognize emotions like "happy," "sad," "mad," and "scared." Responds to and begins to evaluate dramatic activities based on personal preferences. Can learn the characteristics of appropriate audience behavior.

  • Knows that theater can reflect different aspects of life (e.g., relationships, challenges, heritage, history).

  • Can use experiences from other disciplines (e.g., writing, discussion, movement, music, art, knowledge of history) to understand dramatic works.

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