“Art is as natural as sunlight and as vital as nourishment”
Children are wonderfully inquisitive and curious. Right from when they start crawling, they work on exploring and seeing how everything in the world works. They observe and imitate and see how they can control themselves and their environment. This unrestricted exploration helps children form connections in their brain and helps them learn.
Art is a natural activity to support this free play in children. Art and creativity helps with every aspect of a child’s development. The freedom to play with different materials allows for more exploration and experimentation. Art is so much fun for Children as well as being wonderfully educational. Here are a few examples on how art and creativity can improve your Child’s development:
1. Motor Skills
When a child participates in an art activity, be it painting or scribbling, the aspect of holding the brush/pencil is essential to the growth of their fine motor skills. As the child gets older, the complexity of the task will increase and so will their motor skills along with it. As the fine motor skills strengthen, your Child will produce more ‘structured’ artwork, starting from circles and lines to drawings of the family etc..
The use of scissors are a great way to increase a child’s dexterity which is vital for when your Child learns to write.
When a child begins to explore art, they also begin to explore new words. They start to learn colours and shapes and different actions that go along with making a piece of art as well as learning to describe what they see and feel. You can help with asking your child to describe what they are doing or why they have done something in a particular way as this will help their language development and give them confidence to be self expressive.
3. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills
When it comes to art, it is fun for Children to decide what to do and how to do it and one of the first opportunities that they will have to make their very own decisions. This brings about a sense of confidence and achievement. Drawing, moulding, sculpting and threading are activities that help to develop your child’s visual spatial skills. They teach the children to view their work, interpret, criticise, and make choices and decisions on how to change or improve it, analyse and problem solve. When Children are encouraged to express themselves without limitations through the medium of art, they develop a sense of innovation that will always be an important aspect of their growth and development.
4. Creativity, Social and Emotional Wellbeing
By giving your child time for unstructured art, you are allowing them time to explore and develop their creativity. Creativity is is the best way for your child to express themselves without judgment. Creativity fosters mental growth in children by providing opportunities to try out new ideas and new ways of thinking. Art is a great way for children to “de-stress”. It gives them a chance to express their emotions using different materials. It can be a wonderful stress busting activity for one child or a fun social opportunity involving more children. When children work together on a piece of art, they learn to share, to interact with each other, they learn different techniques and most importantly have fun.
It can be frustrating to see a lot of mess as it ends up being extra work for you but it is important that you don’t interrupt your child’s work. Every parent likes structure but it is important to let your children structure their art the way they want without interference. They must explore on their own and have a chance to let their imagination run wild.