We all know how busy it is for parents with schedules filled with packing lunches, doing laundry, helping with homework and driving the kids to hockey or dance practices. With a lot of our time chewed up by these hectic schedules, it’s extra important to make sure we have enough free time with the kids having fun, marveling at their imagination and encouraging that creative thinking. While your children are having fun creating that one of a kind masterpiece, rest assured it’s having a positive impact and helping to develop some important social, cognitive and emotional characteristics and abilities whether a preschooler or a teen!
So what are these benefits? Here are our top 5...
1. Building Fine Motor Skills
Exploring hands on art projects can help improve fine motor skills, particularly important for younger children when starting school. When actively engaged in an art project, whether it’s holding and drawing with a pencil, using a paintbrush or cutting things out with scissors, all of these actions build dexterity and co-ordination. This is not just helpful in the art room, but in other classes, on the sports field, in or in the playground!
2. Emotional Intelligence & Expression
As children learn so rapidly (especially the younger ones) they need to process all of this new information in a way that makes sense to them. And what better way than creating art to express themselves! Whether your child is finger painting or brainstorming a more complex composition, they’re learning to express themselves in the world around them. Using art instead of words can often help
kids be more expressive with their thoughts and is an important outlet for their emotional intelligence. They’re learning that there’s more than one way to do an art project and that each child’s artwork can vary greatly – so there’s less pressure, which translates into more risk taking and greater freedom of expression in their work.
3. Fostering Creative Thinking & Problem Solving
Super important in life, creative thinking builds important skills that can be applied not just to the art project at hand, but to other areas of life that help kids to succeed. This “thinking outside of the box” mentality whether at home, at school or even later on in life, gives kids the opportunity to overcome life’s challenges by becoming great problem solvers! When deciding on a composition or even what color to use, kids are learning how to assess, evaluate and brainstorm for creative solutions! The more opportunities they have to flex their problem solving muscles, with art materials and techniques, the stronger and more confident they get when put into new or different situations!
4. Visual Learning
When we open up a child’s world with art, from a very early age they can begin to master the language of visual learning. We can ask them “Tell me about your picture” or “What’s going on in this painting?” and “Why do you say that?” By doing so, begins to teach important observation skills, to notice details and to reason why. Kids are not just reacting to a painting (although that’s important too!) but are observing an image and understanding it. This builds not only visual learning skills, but can help with language as well, as we encourage kids to talk about what they see. Again these skills can be applied to other academic
situations in school such as science or math problems. In a digital world filled with fast paced technology (where Google has all the answers!), visual learning has a tendency to slow things down and encourage kids’ natural ability to learn through observation.
5. Aid Memory & Concentration
When kids are having hands on fun, they’re fully engaged in the task at hand. Because they’re enjoying the art project, they’re more likely to stick with it from start to finish producing a sense of pride and accomplishment. Just like a muscle, the more you do something, the better you get at it! When kids are engaged in their artwork, they are building important concentration skills – again something that can help in other areas of schoolwork.
Many of these abilities help give children an overall sense of achievement and confidence. By nurturing your child’s creativity, not only do you help to contribute to your child’s overall development, but you get to spend some quality time together having fun. And the best part is that kids enjoy doing these activities so they’re having so much fun, they don’t even realize that they’re learning!
Pip & Vix Art Kits are specifically developed to encourage kids of all ages to explore & discover learning through art. Explore our art kits today!
About the Author
Philippa Glossop is an artist, art advocate and educator who has been teaching visual art to children for over twenty years. She teaches in a number of school districts, art galleries, community art centers, and from her own art studio. Philippa’s passion is creating innovative art kits to stimulate and encourage kids of all ages to explore and develop their creative thinking and expression. Learn more about Philippa.