Have you seen a child exploring paint by putting it all over their hands, or scribbling in bountiful spirals of crayons? It turns out that such visual art activities are not only fun and entertaining, but they also serve educational purposes. In fact, such visual art experiences form an integral part of a child’s development.
Child development is a process that every child goes through from birth to the beginning of adulthood. It is an essential process to acquire a range of skills that are useful in helping them navigate the world confidently. Research has indicated that engaging in visual art is important for children especially during their early years of child development as they strive to reach various developmental milestones. These milestones are built across the four main areas of child development:
As a parent, there are multiple ways you can enhance your child’s growth and development; one of which is through exploring creative visual art. Visual art and crafts which are appropriate for early childhood include activities like drawing, finger-painting, building with blocks, or using stamps and stickers. Creative art activities can be effortfully planned with the child’s overall development in mind. Here is how engaging in art activities can support children in each stage of their development:
Art activities can play a role in developing how children think, problem solve and make sense of the world. Through art activities like painting, and creating collages, children can learn the names of colours, size and shapes of objects. As children mix paint colours, it offers them an opportunity to learn and identify cause-and-effect. Art also equips children with critical thinking and decision making skills. For instance, experimenting with different art materials allows them to make choices and evaluations about their art work.
Movements involved in the making of art and craft are essential to the growth and development of fine motor skills. Engaging in art activities supports children’s large and small muscle development, as well as their eye-hand coordination. Grasping crayons, mixing colors with paint brushes, and drawing lines are tasks which require high amounts of dexterity and coordination. When these activities are repeated overtime, it helps children develop fine motor skills which are essential for writing, buttoning shirts and other important life tasks that require controlled movements.
Research has shown that engaging art activities is also beneficial for social and emotional development. Social and emotional development represents a child’s ability to recognize their feelings, get along with others and build relationships with adults. When children work together in the art area, they learn to interact with the larger community, and take the perspective of others. Through establishing commonalities and appreciating differences, children can deepen their social abilities and form positive relationships with others. Through creative art, children may be able to represent experiences that they cannot verbalize. They may paint pictures out of proportion, or exaggerate things that feel important to them. As a parent, you may encourage your child to draw what they look like when they are happy or angry to encourage the process of understanding their own emotions. Through these expressions, children can develop their self-awareness, social awareness, and thus also foster positive connections with others.
Participating in creative art activities can also develop a child’s speech and language skills. For young children, talking about art provides the platform for them to learn words for colours, shapes, materials and tools. As a parent, you can encourage your children to talk about their art creation process by asking questions such as: “How did you mix the paint to make that colour” or “Where did you get the idea to create the picture?” When children are encouraged to describe their work, it gives them the opportunity to find suitable vocabulary which enhances the development of their language skills.
When children are engaging in art activities, it is important for parents to separate the notion of “talent” from “creativity”. Where art is concerned, it is the process of creating, exploring and experimenting that holds the greatest value. A child does not have to create a masterpiece to have a meaningful artistic experience. Instead, parents can foster a positive mental health through art by encouraging that there is no “right” or “wrong” art. This allows children to confidently showcase their individual uniqueness which may contribute to an overall positive self-concept. Artlette Art Studio provides an exciting platform, Let’s Travel To Competition, to encourage children to showcase their unique experiences and creativity with the community.
Evidently, art offers benefits beyond just fun and entertainment. It serves as an important learning platform for children especially during their early stages of child development. As a childcare provider or parent, you can play an active role in supporting your child’s development by scheduling creative art experiences into their routines.
Want to support your child’s artistic journey? Artlette Art Studio offers kids, portfolio preparation, hobbyists classes, curated series of workshops, personalised private lessons and events. At Artlette, the classes are specially designed to offer the best quality programme, supplies and studio space for the students. Make your first trial class booking with them here.
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