In the midst of budget cuts, pandemic pressures, and teacher shortages, schools are facing a time of transition.
Many are left wondering, "Does art matter?"
Our answer is a resounding "Yes!"
When children create art, they get the chance to exercise their hands, their heads, and their hearts in a truly unique way. Art is unlike anything else. It’s imagination, problem-solving, expression, and stress-relief all rolled into one creative process.
Art provides a hands-on way of learning that especially appeals to children. They have the opportunity to form their own creation with their own hands. Even kids who aren’t "good" at other subjects can feel confident when they’re creating art.
Art guides children to see the world in a whole new way. It provides a connection for them, a way for them to see how other people and other cultures approach life. Empathy and open-mindness follow. When they make their own artistic creations, kids see that they have a voice in this world, too! They can express their unique perspective without using a single word.
Incorporating art as you’re teaching the core school subjects can bring about incredible benefits for the students in your class.
Meaningful art experiences can increase literacy and reading skills in children. Young children who make scribbles and rough shapes are learning that the direction and position of markings matter, a precursor to learning the letters of the alphabet. As they get older, children who draw pictures about the stories they read improve their comprehension. Plus, the art world is full of rich vocabulary for children of any age to learn.
Art is packed full of science connections. Think about the experiments children conduct without even realizing it: mixing colors, paint-resist, torn paper that changes shape via paper mache. They are studying cause and effect, changes in state, and the properties of materials even from a young age. Art is also a great way to practice the problem-solving and hypothesizing methods of science.
A large part of math revolves around symmetry, structure, and shape—concepts that are central in art, too. Geometry is an obvious way that art and math merge. What looks like boring shapes on a worksheet can become an engaging piece of art when kids are encouraged to create and arrange the shapes themselves. Patterns, classifying, and visualization are also concepts in which art and math can merge to improve learning outcomes.
Cultures around the world and throughout time have expressed themselves through art. When children learn about art, they are learning about the context of history and the relevance it has on their own lives. These are the kinds of teachable moments that are hard to find in a textbook. Children have the opportunity to reflect on the voice of the artist. In turn, they’re encouraged to confidently express their own history, culture, and circumstances through art.
One of the best examples of how art impacts children in the classroom can be found in New York City.
The low-income areas of New York City are hit particularly hard by budget cuts. In fact, 20% of the public schools in the city don’t have a single art teacher. In a span of just seven years, the budget for art supplies and equipment dropped 84%.
In the lowest income district, there’s a school—Public Middle School 223—that’s beating the odds with teachers that are determined to integrate art into everyday learning. Their four-year program showed an 8% improvement in the students’ Language Arts scores, a 9% improvement in the students’ math scores and less absenteeism.
Emphasizing art as an integral part of learning makes sense for kids and for teachers. It’s one of the most powerful tools teachers can utilize!
Wouldn't it be great if you had a dependable resource you could use for incorporating art in your teaching? At Kids Art Box, we provide projects, supplies, and easy-to-follow instructions to meet that goal. Our art boxes are a great fit for teachers in charter schools, virtual schools, and public and private school classrooms.
We started Kids Art Box because we’re passionate about giving kids the opportunity to create art with exciting themes and high-quality supplies.
Here’s what you can expect from us: