The power of art: five ways artistic activities can support child development
Art is much more than meets the eye. Drawing, modelling, painting, and building aren’t just fun ways to play — they’re essential learning tools that encourage children to explore, question, experiment, problem-solve, think, and create. As such, they should be accessible to every child. Art is particularly valuable in early childhood when young brains are learning to interpret and absorb information. It can equip them with several skills and attributes necessary for success in all areas of life.
Here are five important ways in which art can support a child’s learning and development.
1. It encourages self-expression
Art gives children an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It’s a canvas upon which they can reflect what they know about the world, and make sense of their own experiences. As such, art presents an opportunity for us to understand what a child is feeling, and it’s a great way to spark conversations, too. In our Creative Art program, kids can choose to express themselves through clay modelling, drawings, or collage. Our art sessions also give little ones the freedom to use their imaginations, encouraging them to explore the reaches of their creativity and develop their thinking skills in the process. 2. It builds self-confidence
There’s no right way to do art, and in our Creative Art program, we nurture an encouraging and supportive environment where every child can feel good about what they create. We provide positive feedback to help little ones build independence, confidence, and eagerness to learn from an early age. Talking about art — even asking a child to say whether they like a painting or not — also encourages children to think critically and helps them develop the self-confidence to express their own opinions independently. 3. It encourages cultural awareness
As a subject matter, art spans a huge range of ethnically and culturally diverse styles, genres, and forms. It can consequently be used to increase a child’s global awareness and their appreciation and understanding of diversity. Art can also be a fun and engaging geographical tool, teaching young children about different communities and cultures throughout the world. At Creative Childcare, we help children understand that art is made by all sorts of people, in a variety of ways. 4. It encourages physical development
All of the small, manipulative movements involved in making art can be extremely useful in helping kids hone a range of important physical and motor skills. For example, working with play dough or modelling clay can help young children fine-tune muscle control in their hands. Similarly, drawing with crayons can help kids develop dexterity and flexibility in the hand and finger muscles.
Drawing and painting are also fun and engaging ways to strengthen a child’s hand-to-eye coordination — motor skills they’ll need to hold a pencil or pen in school. Meanwhile, working with finger paint, play dough, fat crayons, and clay can be a great way to build a child’s sensory skills. 5. It helps foster early math skills
Visual art helps children learn to draw, identify, and understand symbols, shapes, patterns, and geometric representations. In later life, this can make it easier for them to visualise and figure out math problems such as algebra and geometry. Many artistic activities also involve problem-solving and using shapes to express thoughts, ideas, and feelings — all of which are useful not only in mathematical thinking but in many other areas of life, too.
At Creative Childcare, we believe in creating an artistic environment in which children can develop their social-emotional, motor, and language skills and practise self-expression whilst having fun at the same time. To find out more about our creative art sessions,
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