The Importance of Art in a Child's Development

Topics: Art, Cognition, Music Pages: 7 (1967 words) Published: February 27, 2012
The Importance of Art in a Child's Development

Shimona Vig
M.F.A Art Education
III Semester

Have you ever seen a child painting over a sheet of paper with both hands, pulling her fingertips through the paint to scribble? Or observed a child coloring in freehand circles with crayons? If yes, then you have seen the concentration on these children's faces, and the joyful expressions of art explored. You have witnessed creative art in process!

I talked to few parents who do art activities with their kids on a regular basis, "Why is art important?" One of the parent said, "My kids express things through their art that they don't even have words for yet." Another parent said, "Art helps my kids feel willing to try new ideas, to experiment, to solve problems." Some said, "After our kids spend time creating art, they focus better in math, science, and other academic assignments." Some answered, "It seems art is the one area where kids and their creativity have free reign."

Most of the people know that art is important for children; they simply believe it's important because they've seen children deeply involved in art. But as an art student we can say that art helps in the overall development of children.

Creating art expands child's ability to interact with the world around them, and provides a new set of skills for self-expression and communication. Art helps children to express themselves freely, to become self confident and to explore different ways of representing their thoughts and feelings. Not only does art help to develop their brain, it also cultivates important skills that benefit a child's development.

Children Develop Life Skills through Art Activities

Art may seem like fun and games but the child is actually learning a lot through exploring the arts and doing art activities. Children gain useful life skills through art like: 

Communication Skills: When a child draws a picture or 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.

Problem-Solving Skills: When children explore art ideas, they are testing possibilities and working through challenges, much like a scientist who experiments and finds solutions. Should I use a shorter piece of paper to balance my collage? This glue isn't holding - what should I try instead? How did I make brown - I thought I made orange? 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." Even when experimenting or learning how to handle art materials effectively, children are solving challenges and coming up with new ways to handle unexpected outcomes.

Social & 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. Child starts representing his cultural backgrounds which motivates him to gain more knowledge about his culture and society.

Fine Motor Skills: Fine motor skills enable a child do things like delicately turn the page of a book or fill in a sheet of paper with written words, holding a paintbrush so that it will make the desired marks, cutting paper with scissors into definite shapes, drawing with a crayon, squeezing glue from a bottle in a controlled manner, or molding a clay. These all help to...
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