Much has been written about the physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of art for adults, but what about art for kids? Art provides an incredible creative outlet for children, helping to stimulate their minds and allow them to express themselves, while improving their overall wellbeing. In this article, we will explore why art is good for kids, and the various ways it can benefit their development.
1. Enhances Creativity
One of the main reasons art is beneficial for children is that it allows them to develop and express their creativity. Engaging with art gives children the opportunity to think in different ways and to explore the power of their own imagination.
Creative play increases imaginative thinking and provides the opportunity to take risks, experiment, and learn problem solving skills. For example, when a child engages in creative art projects, they are not just learning the techniques behind that specific form of art, but they are also free to express themselves and create something totally unique. They become invested in their work, as if it is an extension of themselves, and through this process, they learn about themselves, their ideas, and their own creative capacities.
2. Boosts Self-Esteem and Mental Wellbeing
Engaging with art can also have a positive effect on kids’ mental health. Art can be used as a tool for kids to express their inner thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
Through art, kids can find outlets to express their individual personalities and will be celebrated for their unique perspectives. The opportunity to explore their interest and create something tangible can also help to boost their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. Art also teaches problem solving skills, helping kids to develop the skills they need to successfully navigate the world.
3. Improves Focus, Discipline, and Memory
Art can have a positive effect on brain development, helping to improve focus, memory, and even intellectual ability. Engaging with art requires focus and helps to develop a child’s mental discipline.
It also engages multiple senses at once, which helps enhance the development of the brain. Engaging with art can also help to strengthen the connections between different areas of the brain. This helps enhance memory, learning, and creative thinking.
The creative and free expression of art also helps to reduce stress, leading to improved memory as well.
4. Develops Motor Skills
Engaging with art also provides an opportunity to develop and refine motor skills. Working with art materials such as paints, markers, and clay, helps refine fine motor skills, as does activities such as drawing, painting, cutting, and gluing.
Exploring different media, colours, and textures with their hands helps to develop a sense of touch and proprioception. It also helps to build coordination and encourages creative play. Kids become familiar with the different materials and how to use them, and as they gain confidence in their skills, they can move on to more complex creative tasks.
5. Provides Structured Play Time
Art activities can also provide structured play for kids, encouraging them to engage in creative thinking. As they gain confidence and learn more skills, they feel increasingly empowered to direct their own explorations.
Through this process, they learn to communicate, think independently, and become empowered to make their own decisions. This then leads to improved communication and collaboration skills, as well as better performance in academic settings such as classrooms. Art-related activities also provide a sense of community, as kids can work together on collaborative projects and bond over shared interests.
6. Learn About Culture and History
Engaging with art is also an excellent way to learn about culture and history. Art provides an opportunity to explore the history of different cultures, looking to the past to learn about the stories, values, and beliefs of different people from different background and places.
Art can also help build an appreciation and understanding of the beauty and potential of different cultures. Kids learn to respect each other’s differences and work together to create something meaningful.
7. Makes Learning Fun
Using art in the classroom makes learning enjoyable and engaging. Different art projects can help to bring new life to a subject and illustrate difficult concepts that may otherwise be challenging for kids to grasp. This helps to break down the barrier between education and creativity, while also countering the boredom associated with some traditional forms of education.
Art also bolsters critical thinking skills, as it encourages kids to draw their own conclusions, think abstractly, and solve puzzles.
8. Increases Cognitive and Analytical Skills
Creative art projects are also a great way to increase cognitive and analytical skills. Through art, kids learn to evaluate their own work, think analytically, and develop problem solving skills.
Art also helps to foster an understanding of cause and effect as kids learn to identify patterns and explore the complex relationship between elements. Kids can also research different cultures, times, and topics and gain a deeper insight into the world around them. Art activities such as group critiques also teach kids to accept criticism, improve their work, and build on their existing skills.
9. Helps Develop Emotional Intelligence
Oftentimes, art activities provide a safe space for kids to express their emotions. Art encourages self-expression, helping kids to process and make sense of their emotions.
Through art, kids also learn to be more sensitive to their feelings and those of others. Art also helps to improve emotional intelligence, as kids learn to persevere in the face of challenges, take risks, and be resilient. Creative activities can also serve as a form of emotional release, giving kids the opportunity to express their feelings without fear of judgement.
10. Improved Socialisation
Art activities can also help to improve social aspects of a child’s development. Working on art projects is often a collaborative activity, giving kids the opportunity to interact with their peers and work on something together.
It encourages them to work as a team or individual and to be understanding of others. Through art, kids can make friends, learn to share, and build on communication skills. It also encourages the development of leadership skills, as kids gain confidence and take ownership of their projects.
11. Healthy Stress Management
Art is an effective tool for managing stress, both for kids and adults. Creative activities allow kids to focus their energy and attention on something productive, rather than be overwhelmed by stress and anxiety.
The structured nature of art also helps to channel their energy in a positive direction, and provides a sense of control over their emotions. Art can also be used as a form of therapy, helping to keep kids relaxed and centred.
12. Improved Imagination and Self-Awareness
The creative process of art also encourages the development of imagination, allowing kids to explore different perspectives and think more abstractly. Through art, kids can strengthen the link between imagination and the reality of everyday life and gain better insight into their values, beliefs, and experiences. This encourages the development of self-awareness and understanding, helping to shape the foundation for lifelong success.
Art also provides a safe space for kids to explore new ideas and be independent in their thinking.
13. Assists With Academic Performance
Research has proven that introducing art into academic settings can lead to improved student performance. Art helps kids to better understand and engage with whatever they are learning and allows them to apply their knowledge in new, creative ways. It also helps to break down complex topics into manageable bites, making them more approachable and easier to comprehend.
Overall, the introduction of art helps to create an environment where learning is fun and exciting, making it more enjoyable and beneficial for kids. Art can also be used to introduce kids to new topics and challenge them in new ways, preparing them for the ever-changing world of academia.
Art provides a creative and stimulating environment for kids to explore and express themselves, while also improving their skills and confidence, cognitive ability, and overall wellbeing. Through engaging with art, kids learn about culture and history, develop problem solving skills, and strengthen their relationships with their peers.
Art helps to engage multiple senses, refine motor skills, and stimulate creative thinking, while also offering a healthy form of stress management. Clearly, art is a beneficial activity for kids and one that should be encouraged and celebrated.