Developmental Benefits of Art in Childhood
In last week’s article, we covered 6 simple tips on encouraging your child in the Arts. This week, we are going to examine the developmental benefits of an art education.
While the United States is shifting towards a STEM education model, it is important to encourage creative activities. Some may view art education as a luxury, but it is clear that artistic activities form some of the basis of child development. It is more important than ever to understand why art is so important in your child’s life.
Critical Thinking and Decision Making
Art education encourages and improve our ability to problem solve and employ critical thinking skills. The ability to make decisions in art expands beyond the canvas into other areas of your child’s life.
The United States is well known for being a melting pot of cultures and identities. With the advent of the internet and the proliferation of social media in our lives, our world is becoming a smaller place where we are exposed to new cultures through videos, pictures and writing.
Art will help in your child’s understanding of different cultures as they examine and learn more about the story behind the art. Artwork is a phenomenal bridge between cultures and understanding. Additionally, your child’s art will allow her to express herself in new ways.
Language Learning and Development
In a past blog post, we examined the benefits of teaching your child a second language, so we will not beat this point to death. However, it is also true that art helps children learn their primary language as well. I spend countless hours with my son teaching drawing animals and shapes and using different colors to each him the different words. Art is an immensely powerful tool for teaching children new words and developing the language learning. My son loves to spend time with me pointing at different animals in a book and listen to my response. Then when I ask him where a cow or rooster is, he can point it out without a problem.
Excelling in Academics
Countless studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between art and academic achievement. When you consider all the other areas of aid that art places in the development in your child, it only seems natural that their experience in academics is going improve and be more fruitful.
Gross and Fine Motor Skills
We started our son with art at a very early age, pretty much as soon as he could grasp a large crayon and hold it. Then over the course of time, we encouraged him to move the crayon across paper and then become more purposeful in his drawing. Many of the skills involved in creating art are essential to the growth of your child’s fine motor skills. Many early education programs including preschool place a strong emphasis on using scissors and crayons because it develops the fine motor skills necessary for writing!