How your child can benefit from doing art as an extra-mural

Art gives children the opportunity to express who they are, engage in their interests, and develop their abilities.

Most children love to draw, colour, and paint. But did you know that while art is a wonderful way to keep your child entertained, it’s also a great way for your child to learn?

Art is an unstructured subject, with only a few guidelines, where children can explore different mediums and make mistakes. When it comes to learning subjects in the classroom, there is often a right and wrong answer and children can become fearful of making mistakes.

Art allows children the freedom to make a mistake, plan and problem-solve around it and turn it into a masterpiece. During an art lesson, children can willingly create expressions of their emotions, safely communicate with others, and develop their self-esteem positively.

The benefits of art carry over into other areas of a child’s developmental stages, enriching a child’s learning and academic experience.

We chat with Melodie Artingstall, Grade 3 Teacher at The Bridge Assisted Learning School, on why art is important.

Early childhood development

Art plays an important role in a child’s early development and will continue to influence their development. There are many life skills in art that assist children in becoming well-rounded adults. These include decision-making, problem-solving skills, confidence-building, and the development of fine motor skills.

Problem-solving and critical-thinking

According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. One of the main concerns in the classroom is that children tend to experience difficulties in problem-solving. It is all too easy for the adults in a child’s life to step in and solve a problem for them. Art allows a child to explore different options and ideas to reach their end result.

While exploring and experimenting with mediums and new ideas, decisions and problem-solving take place. Creating can only begin when the child is given the opportunity to think through their ideas and come up with solutions for their creation independently. Gaining confidence in acquiring these skills can be carried over into other areas of their academics as well as becoming a part of their daily routine.

Self-expression and creativity

Art encourages self-expression and gives a child the platform to express themselves in various ways, be it visual art or performing arts. When children are able to express themselves and receive recognition for their efforts, their identity and confidence begins to develop.

As stated in an article titled ‘Creative Art Helps Children Develop across Many Domains’, “when we value children’s creativity, we help them feel valued as people, raising their self-esteem”.

Development of fine motor skills

Participation in different arts and crafts activities assists with the development of fine motor skills.

When children manipulate different tools such as pencils, paint brushes, and scissors, the muscles in their hands are strengthened. The more these tools are used and manipulated, the stronger and more accurate children become in their use.

When your child paints or draws, they’ll be using their hands to manipulate objects, and they’ll have more success as they gain more control.

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