What do kids learn from art? More than you might think! At a time when funding for arts education is being cut in favor of math and language arts, it's important to realize all that the arts can do for our children.
Art builds the imagination, fosters creativity and problem solving, and develops fine motor skills.
Art can teach kids many important lessons:
- Develop eye-hand coordination (which also helps with writing and literacy)
- Observe the world around them, and learn to trust their own eyes rather than what they think they "should" see or know
- Make comparisons and make choices, distinguish between what's important and what isn't
- Improve by practicing, and take pride in their artistic growth and development
- Develop an understanding of what goes into making a work of art-helping them appreciate the work of other artists
But did you know that art also helps to develop language skills for reading and writing and the cognitive skills needed for math? Participating in the arts helps children learn to focus, to listen, and to be tolerant of new ideas and different people. The arts also help kids learn the value of doing a good job for its own sake, of taking pride in their work, and of setting goals for themselves and reaching those goals.
According to Americans for the Arts, children who regularly take art classes are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. They also point out that art classes help kids stay out of trouble and away from destructive influences.
Drawing and painting are excellent and enjoyable ways for kids of all ages to become involved in art. Many kids (and grownups, too) think they "can't draw" because their drawings don't look exactly like real things. They think this means they don't have any talent, and perhaps shouldn't bother to try. But the great thing about drawing is that it's a skill. Anyone can learn to draw and anyone can get better at it. Painting adds the element of color and stretches kids' imaginations and opportunities for exploration, experiment and creativity.
Art helps children become creative adults with good problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Art can be a source of enjoyment and accomplishment that will last their entire lives.