Art Education and Your Children’s Development

Although a lot of focus and attention are directed with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) we should also stressed the importance of art education in our children’s development.

Through art education, basic skills are developed which will better prepare them as they take on the different fields of learning when they grow up.  Shaping their minds and encouraging them to explore their own capabilities and interests will equip them with the right mindset to make decisions as they embark upon their own future.

kid's art education
Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Exposure to art education

Studies have showed that early exposure to visual art, music, or drama encourages brain activity which promotes creativity.  Through art education children are thought to express themselves in ways they are more comfortable with, be it through painting, dancing or reciting poems or singing.  It breaks the language barrier not just with the little ones who are not yet equipped with the vocabularies but even with school age children that are having a hard time communicating themselves through language.  Suffice to say, art is indeed a way of expression.  It’s where children could learn how to become creative and communicative in non-verbal ways.

Being exposed to art education, these children develop a sense of self-confidence.  They are given validation for being able to perform or create an art piece.  It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that they’ve come up with an exceptional piece or performance.  Aside from the fact that such an opinion is basically subject to different perception, we have to understand that as MaryAnn Kohl, puts it – art is a process, not a product.

“Where art is concerned, it is the process of creating — exploring, discovering, and experimenting — that has the greatest value. Through self-expression and creativity, children’s skills will develop naturally, and their ability to create will soar.” – MaryAnn Kohl, award-winning author, publisher and educational consultant.

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Developing skills through art education

Through art education, children are thought the value of perseverance and the ability to focus.  They learn to figure out things on their own eventually.  Like for instance, ‘this is not the color I’m aiming for, what should I mix it with to achieve what I want,’ or ‘my popsicle sticks are falling apart what would hold them together more firmly.’

Art education also has an impact on our children’s social and emotional skills. They can learn how to be patient and compare that to the consequences of being the opposite.  For instance,  ‘I really should let this painting dry completely before I proceed or I’ll ruin it like the last time,’  or ‘I really should attend practice today to make sure our group will perform well.’

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Art education teaches our children to be appreciative of other children’s works and abilities in general.  It teaches them the value of responsibility, and become considerate and respectful of other individuals as well.

While Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are no doubt important areas our youths should be educated on, let us keep in mind that art education also plays a role in shaping our youths today.

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Art Therapy: Healing You From Within

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You have probably heard of art therapy before, it’s basically a form of psychotherapy that uses art media.  One doesn’t have to have an experience or skill in arts because the focus is not about producing wonderful art work.

The primary concern is to affect changes in the client’s life–facilitate communication, overcome stress, improve overall well-being or experience personal transformation.

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Art therapy is relatively new


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Photo credit: https://kristinamarcelli.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/worry-balloons/Art therapy

Art therapy begun in the 1940’s, it is a relatively new therapeutic discipline but its effectiveness is undeniable.  It’s been proven to help patients recover from illnesses, both physical and mental, by tapping into their unconscious through art expression.

What art therapy can do for you?

Well often times, is viewed solely as a treatment for mental health problems or physical healing.  In reality, it affects the well-being, the inner experience of the person that in turn facilitates positive changes that can be seen visually – physically getting better or mentally improving.

People who are suffering from some type of illness, (or most people in general) have issues communicating verbally.  And the stress of not being able to communicate or be understood debilitates their condition.

The very thought of having a way to communicate is empowering in itself.  To be able to express oneself in a platform that is deemed ‘safe’ gives a person a sense of freedom.  Art therapy makes these doors to communication accessible.  It makes use of art as a way to relieve overwhelming emotions.

Art therapy is commonly used to facilitate learning and improve life of both children and adult with disabilities, experiencing depression, mental illnesses, some kind of trauma and physical illness as well.

Art therapy taps into your inner being, it heals you from within.