By Nicole Tinkham
Ever hear the quote by Picasso “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”? Think about it. Children really are excellent artists. They aren’t scared of taking risks, making a mess, failure, or the judgment of others. They just create. They have fun, use their imaginations, experiment with new things, and PLAY. We all could really learn a lot from them.
“The creative adult is the child who has survived.” – Ursula K. Le Guin.
Sadly, as we grow older our creativity tends to fade away. This obviously isn’t true for everyone. There are many incredible artists that are more creative today than ever before. But if every child is an artist, where are they now? Shouldn’t there be way more artistic people in the world? That’s why we believe in creating an atmosphere of encouragement and inspiration so much! We all have the capability to create beautiful things, and while that’s amazing, it’s not the only benefit art brings to our lives. Art actually plays a crucial role in the development of children. Unfortunately, schools typically focus more on math, science and reading and push arts to the side. Here’s WHY we think art is so important in the lives of children and their development.
Kids are overloaded with visual information every day. They’re able to use tablets before they can even read! However, children can benefit from visually learning from the real world instead of on the screen in front of them. Art teaches them how to interpret the information and actually use it to make choices.
Holding a paintbrush or coloring with a crayon are essential motor skills for children. Using scissors (safety scissors) actually helps children form the skills they’ll need to learn how to write.
Just talking about art and the process brings up new vocabulary words. Children will learn how to describe things and learn the words for various colors and shapes.
Advancement in other areas
Practicing art actually has an effect on other achievements as well. According to the Americans for the Arts, “Young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.”
And even MORE benefits children will experience with art in their life…
• Learn how to express feelings with or without words
• Practice problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills
• Collaborate with other students and adults
• Build confidence (there’s no right or wrong answer in art)
• Build community
• Able to express personal voice
How to get children interested in art
We understand the role art plays in children’s lives. It’s more than just “playing around” with finger paint. Just like math, science, and reading are important for development, so is art. To get a little more art into your child’s life, consider the following ideas.
Keep art supplies as readily available as the TV remote or other toys.
Display your child’s artwork as if it belongs in a gallery. Get really excited over what they create!
Find books and tell stories about famous artists.
Create art together.
Enroll in art classes or a summer camp.
Attend local galleries.
Check out really cool street art in your area (Stop by Keeton’s and check out our community wall).
Go to art fairs.
Not every child will become a famous artist when they grow up but having art in their lives at an early age can help them in other areas (motor skills, language, visual learning, etc.). And it’s super easy to get them involved. Playing with crayons and paint is so much fun. Be sure to get involved with them and do it often. This is your opportunity to act like a kid again and play. Take advantage of it!