It is difficult to imagine childhood without art. From the very first finger painting displayed proudly on the refrigerator door to coloring books filled with crayon strokes (meticulously drawn “inside the lines” or scribbled wildly without regard to the bounds of picture and page) to 3D clay models and dioramas, artistic expression is a driving force behind child development. Pablo Picasso said it best: “Every child is an artist.” Engaging children in creative and artistic activities plays a major role in nurturing their growth in several important developmental areas:
Fine Motor Skills
Children use many types of instruments to create art, including paintbrushes, crayons, pencils, markers, scissors and even hands and feet. As they are learning techniques to create their masterworks, children use motions that enhance their fine-motor development, which contributes to their mastery of other important developmental skills, such as writing.
Social and Emotional Skills
Art is a means for creative self-expression. For children (and adults), art can be a wonderful emotional outlet that promotes personal reflection, communication skills and self-esteem.
Promoting creativity and engagement in artistic activities has been shown to stimulate growth in important cognitive areas. When children are encouraged to think creatively, they are more likely to engage in experimentation, which fosters critical-thinking, problem-solving and innovation skills. Learning words to describe their artwork contributes to language development. Creating art involves sensory experiences that enhance the learning of foundational concepts (shapes, colors, textures) and higher-level ideas (visual cues and symbolism).
The process of creating art cultivates “habits of mind” important for children’s academic success, including persistence to task, attention to detail, visual thinking and improvisation.
Freedom of Expression
Though childhood is often considered the most carefree time of one’s life, children are still at the mercy of the adults around them. Art is an enjoyable means for escaping the restrictions of everyday life and freely engaging in creative expression.
Children are hard-wired to seek out activities that stimulate their curiosity and imagination in meaningful ways. For children, art is as natural as breathing; it taps directly into an innate desire to create and provides a joyful context within which their potential thrives.
Azure Paint Studio offers creative opportunities for artists of every age. Check out the rest of our website to view our calendar of events, to learn about freestyle painting or to book your own private party.
Note: Some information in this article was adapted from articles for pbs.org and parents.com. Links to these articles can be accessed below.