As parents we try to fit a lot into a child’s development. You might find yourself wondering if you even need to fit art in at all. Lately it feels like art has taken a second place in our children’s education. It is slowly being removed from a lot of school curriculums and set aside to prioritize science and testing.
Art is just as important as other subjects and is an integral part of a child’s development and learning about the world around us! Art harnesses a child’s imagination, independent thinking, and provides a gateway to their creative, natural play. Most importantly, it is fun for the whole family! Children take pride in their creations which boosts their self-esteem. And for us, parents, it is incredible to watch our children grow and get a glimpse into their minds through the art they create.
Here are the most important benefits or art for children:
Children are naturally creative. However, like Henri Matisse said:
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Children (and adults!) will remain artists by fueling their creativity and making art!
Making art and creating pushes us to explore new possibilities and experience the world in new ways: through exploring mediums, tools, textures, and techniques with all their senses. Art also helps children express themselves in a way they may not otherwise know how to put into words. They will invent new ways of thinking, creating, and expressing themselves.
Our boxes offer new mediums, techniques, and themes to explore every month. They help build a solid base to enjoy art and creativity and to use it in future creative explorations. I see it in my boys every day and the way they love to create and build on the techniques we have explored in the past.
These are two crucial life skills for all children, even if they decide to pursue more science-based interests as they grow.
Open-ended, process-oriented art is a great opportunity for working on making choices, coming to conclusions, second-guessing decisions, and evaluating results (good or bad!).
Children become more comfortable with uncertainty and remain flexible thinkers, which is key for creativity and confidence in later life. The more they have access to a variety of materials and learn new techniques, the more likely they are to try new combinations and ideas on their own. This transfers over to how they interact later in a classroom and the values they hold while learning.
In addition, art is a great way to teach children how to focus on a task in front of them but also learn patience. Some of our projects require drying time before they are completed, which teaches self-control and patience. In a world of instant gratification, being able to control impulses is not easy but is a critical part of success. For a young child with less focus, you can also break down the projects in smaller pieces and gradually increase the focus time.
Fine motor skills are the development of all the muscles in the fingers and hands and how they interact with your brain. Focusing on these skills comes into play when children learn to feed themselves, grasp objects, and write.
By manipulating a paintbrush, squeezing glue, cutting with scissors, working with tape, sculpting clay, etc. kids develop their fine motor skills, hand strength, and hand-eye coordination. Each of our boxes include multiple materials for children to work with that help to strengthen their fine motor skills.
Art teaches children how to experiment independently and morph different materials. Freely making discoveries with the materials helps to invent new ways of thinking.
Remember, there are no mistakes in art!
“We don’t make mistakes, we just make happy accidents” ~ Bob Ross
Art is key in boosting a child’s own self-image, it is not just about keeping them busy. When children get praise and positive feedback about art it improves their self-esteem.
Children feel a sense of accomplishment when they see a project through from start to finish. It is a way to develop their own self-reflection that leads to their own vision of “self” as they grow. When a child feels good about what they are creating and the materials they are experimenting with, it boosts their self-confidence.
As kids make their own art they build a familiarity with art. Making art familiar, an everyday event, rather than something isolated, also helps children become comfortable with it.
It is so fascinating when you witness children recognizing and appreciating art in the world around them. It opens their minds up to new possibilities and ways of thinking. It also helps them recognize the beauty in everyday life.
Our boxes include opportunities to make those connections between art and math. Math is used in counting out pieces needed, matching, measuring, or using fractions in pouring paint. Spatial reasoning is also developed through art: it teaches to recognize patterns, see geometrical shapes, and learn about symmetry, proportion, and measurement.
Science and art go hand in hand! As a former engineer, I saw it first hand! Hand drawings, spatial reasoning, creative thinking and problem solving were part of the day-to-day work. The best scientists and engineers are also the most creative ones!
Both art and science give opportunities to children to understand and describe the world around them. Art is a way for children to explore their own creative thinking. When children experiment with materials, they dabble in science and learn how things change when mixed. Our boxes include either a complete science experiment or a way to mix paint, getting correct proportions, blend materials, and watch reactions occur.
And, last but certainly not least, our art boxes are meant for children to do with an adult’s guidance, supervision, and participation. Children work together with an adult to see a project through from beginning to end. A child is opening up their inner creativity and forming something with their hands. The reaction they get from an adult that is helping them will help boost sharing and cooperation while reducing shyness and anxiety.