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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How to Introduce Arts and Crafts Projects to Children

arts and crafts for kids

One way to keep your kids busy and ensure that you’re nurturing their overall developments at the same time is to engage them into arts and crafts project.  Keeping them occupied with activities that promote creativity as well as physical movements will aid in reinforcing positive attitudes as well as confidence.

Although a lot of people would love to take on an arts and crafts project with their children, most do not have the slightest idea on where to begin. If you happen to be one of these people, read on and learn arts and crafts tips that will help you get started.

For the little ones, you can make use of q-tips for miniature paint brushes that will fit perfectly with their little hands.  Big paint brushes tend to make big messes as well when used by small children. Using q-tip in place of a real paint brush will help them have better control, not to mention that it’s cheap and functional as well when drawing because the cotton ends pretty much acts like a pencil.

Make it a point not to come down on kids when they’re doing crafts, we’d like to inspire individuality through projects like these and not discourage or embarrass them for showing their own take at creating arts.

 arts and crafts

Arts and crafts projects with kids are always messy; readily expect that even before starting this activity.  Using a drop cloth on your working surface and or area could help minimize the mess.  Using washable markers, adhesives and other art materials can also make cleaning up a lot easier.

You can always turn to the internet when researching for inspirations for arts and crafts or other diy projects.  There are a lot of websites offering ideas and tips for arts and crafts projects that is suitable for your kids’ age group.

Make use of the Sunday circulars if you are into arts and crafts.  Look for stores offering great deals on art supplies to get you going with your crafts project.  Stay updated with the latest sales event that will save you tremendously on arts and crafts materials.

Make it a habit to wash your brushes thoroughly when you’re done painting for the day.  Leaving your brushes with paint on will cause the bristles to harden when the paint dries up.  This will then make it harder for you to make subtle strokes that could in turn affect your painting.  Using a brush that is not cleaned thoroughly can also affect the color ranges and may leave you with a slightly (or heavily) different shades of color than what you would actually intend.

Opt for high quality arts and crafts materials whenever you can.  It may cost you more initially, but in the long run it’ll pay itself and you’ll be glad that you invested properly in the right art materials.  You definitely don’t want your artwork to start falling apart due to cheap materials even before you can show it off.

These are just some of the arts and crafts simple tips that you could consider before starting your own DIY projects with your children.  Remember that creating arts and crafts can significantly affect your child’s development, not just by honing any dormant talent but both mentally and emotionally as well.

Arts and Crafts and Your Child’s Development

arts and crafts for childrenImage courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is normal for developing babies and toddlers to be curious about their environment, especially the little things that are within their reach and which they can grab with their tiny hands, oftentimes even straight into their mouths.

They are plain curious about what these things can do (or taste – for the younger ones) and what they can do with these things in return.  This is why they are naturally drawn to colorful pens, crayons, paints, shinny glitters, soft strings, papers, clays and basically anything they can ‘create’ things with.

For children this age, babies and toddlers, arts and crafts is an important activity that can aid in their development.  It’s for the children’s best interest to expose them into these kinds of activities rather than allowing them to watch TV for hours on end or play computer games or game consoles.

While the latter seems the ‘easier’ choice since firstly you don’t have to bother ‘cleaning up’ after the mess, and secondly, you also don’t have to ‘sit’ there with them – we have to keep in mind as well that this is a very crucial stage in their development.  This is when you would want to give them the best support and encouragement as possible.

Why arts and crafts?

Arts and crafts are not just fun and entertaining (and it’s not just for kids, you can also enjoy it, too.), it also helps the child’s basic skills development.  Allowing children to explore and experiment through arts and crafts will help them to develop skills that will affect their lives in the long run.

arts and crafts for kids developmentImage courtesy of Supertrooper / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Communication skills

The child learns to communicate in non-verbal ways.  Oftentimes, since they are not able to put their thoughts in cohesive sentences, young children tend to get frustrated when the adults couldn’t understand what they’re trying to communicate.  Arts and crafts activities will show them that there are other ways in which they can express themselves.  These activities can also be a way for them to release their frustrations, children displaying episodes of temper tantrums are noticeably better, and in some cases the habit is even entirely eliminated.

Problem solving skills

As children engaged in arts and crafts activities, they are expose to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions as they experiment on creating artworks.  This in turn will later help them to be prepared in overcoming real life challenges as they grow up.

Social skills

Children learn to become sociable – even if your arts and crafts activities are limited with family members – it still teaches the kids the concept of sharing, patience, taking turns and being appreciative of other people’s work.  More so when you start to engage them with arts and crafts projects with playmates or neighbors.

Fine motor skills

They are being trained to take control of their finer movements – scribbling with pen or painting with a paint brush or connecting little objects – all these aid in developing their hand-eye coordination and motor skills which will later benefit them as they go and try other activities.

It’s undeniable that arts and crafts do not only help the children to develop confidence by allowing self-expression but also aid in the development of other important skills that will benefit them in their later life.  It is therefore very important to expose our children into arts and crafts in any way we can.

After all, arts and crafts can be a fun family activity!