hOW ART BENEFITS YOUNG CHILDREN, STARTING TODDLERS

Most of us instinctually know that art is important for our children; we simply believe it’s important because we’ve seen our children deeply involved in art. But beyond what we feel and believe, there is much factual information about why art is important in our children’s development that is both interesting and helpful to know.

Creating art expands a child’s ability to interact with the world around them, and provides a new set of skills for self-expression and communication. It also cultivates important skills that benefit a child’s development such as ;

1. Cognitive or Problem-Solving Skills: When children explore art ideas, they are testing possibilities and working through challenges e.g What colour should I use? How to make that shape? What happens if I mix these 2 colours? Art allows children to make their own assessments, while also teaching them that a problem may have more than one answer. Instead of following specific rules or directions, the child’s brain becomes engaged in the discovery of “how” and “why.”

2. Emotional Skills: Art helps children come to terms with themselves and the control they have over their efforts. Through art, they also practice sharing and taking turns, as well as appreciating one another’s efforts. Art fosters positive mental health by allowing a child to show individual uniqueness as well as success and accomplishment, all part of a positive self-concept.

3. Motor Skills: Fine motor skills involves using small muscles to do things. Holding a paintbrush so that it will make the desired marks, drawing with a crayon  help develop a child’s fine motor skills and control of materials.
Gross motor skills involves using the large muscles like independent sitting for drawing and colouring.

4. Communication Skills: When a child draws a picture, paints a portrait, that child is beginning to communicate visually. A child may draw to document an actual experience like playing in the park, release feelings of joy by painting swirling colors, or share an emotionally charged experience like the passing of a loved one through art. Art goes beyond verbal language to communicate feelings that might not otherwise be expressed.

5. Imagination: Along with logical reasoning, memory retention, mental will and perception, are considered primary mind functions. The ability to use imagination effectively can benefit anyone, especially children
As children become more self-aware, they have a growing desire to use their imagination and become more creative.
Art can help young minds transform their ideas into tangible objects. When we see the results of their work, we often know how children feel and how they think. Children always find it satisfying to know that their ideas and imagination can physically exist either on paper.

Art exploration is not only fun and entertaining, but also developmental.
So get your child creating and learning—all you’ll need is some colours and an open mind !

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