Movement is something nearly every child enjoys, so expect to have a great time with this principle of visual organization. In the graphic arts, movement is how motion is represented, either as an illusion created by patterns, or real, such as a mobile. Young children tend to be very concrete, so we’ll focus on how they can find and represent things that move.
What moves? You might start tuning your child into the idea of movement by finding things that move, such as walking feet, a bicycle, a car or bus on the street, hands on a clock, planes or birds in the sky, waves at the beach, a spinning top, curtains in the breeze.
Picture movement. Next, explore with your child some ways to represent movement. You might start by looking through magazines or newspapers for sports photos or other things that were in motion when the picture was taken. How can you tell something was moving? Is the object suspended in air? Is part of the photo blurry? Are body parts in action?
Next, try to find paintings or sculpture that represent movement. Children’s books are a great source of dancers dancing, animals frolicking, children playing. Donald Crews’ “Freight Train” is a terrific and moving tale.
Talk about how different artists depict movement-smoke billowing from a chimney or engine, lines streaming behind an object.
Experience the motion. Children might love to play the game statue, in which they stop moving suddenly. They may be awed by seeing a mobile or wind chime gradually twirl. Spin them safely on a merry-go-round. Then suggest that they draw or use clay to express how moving felt to them. They’re likely to be VERY creative!