Over the years, many schools have had the arts cut from their curriculum. However, art is extremely important for children’s development, cultivating wellbeing and helping young learners make connections between subjects. But beyond what we feel or believe, let’s look at the facts.
How do the arts support children’s development?
One report put together by academics at Durham University concluded that creative opportunities stimulate the curiosity of young children, as well as their creativity, imagination, and their ability to communicate. They also found that the freedom to be creative helped children cope with feelings, fears, and with self-managing their emotional state.
Michigan State University Extension also agreed that artistic endeavours and self-directed explorations were educational as well as fun for children. They state that the skills that children develop when participation in artistic activities include fine motor skills, cognitive development, maths skills (such as shape, size, and spatial reasoning), and their language and communication skills.
Overall, art can help children to develop important life skills, how to express themselves, facilitate learning, and give them an artistic outlet. Now that you know why art is important, here are a few ways you can encourage artistic development in your children.
Ways you can encourage your children to be creative
Take them to exhibitions and galleries
Whether you head to a huge gallery, or take a look at an exhibition of a world-famous art collector like Charles Saatchi, this will give your children exposure to the world of art. Share your observations as you explore, and encourage the child to talk about their own reactions to the artwork you see.
Show interest in creativity
Take an active interest in what your child finds interesting and encourage them to keep going. If they paint a picture, stick it on the front of your fridge, front and centre! Find out if you can buy them the right equipment so that they can continue to develop their interest in the arts.
It doesn’t have to be all centred around or focussed on the educational and developmental side of it all. Remember to have fun with it and allow them to get creative at their own pace.
Let them try new things
There are so many different aspects of art – so let your child try them all. Though it might not be as advanced as an artist, of course, let them make sculptures out of playdough, experiment with water colour, and make prints with cool stamps.
Praise them for their triumphs
When your child manages to make their own work of art, take a moment to praise them on their efforts, and describe every detail that you like about it, making sure to ask lots of questions. Letting them know you value their creative efforts can encourage them to continue with their artistic development.
So, there you have it – all the basics on why and how parents should encourage artistic development in their children. Now you know where to start, all that is left to do is to let your child loose and get creative together.