Art making at a young age can boost a child’s emotional and mental well-being. Many schools in the U.S. promote the value of visual art in children’s development. This includes a Christian school in Gilbert, AZ, whose elementary curriculum offers visual art courses in drawing and painting. Another example is the Walt Disney Magnet school in Illinois, which organizes parent and child co-creation events, such as ceramics classes and a paint-with-your-parents evening.
Art for kids extends beyond fun and games. Below are some benefits children can get through art making.
1. Promotes Creativity
Children show imaginative use of colors, themes, and techniques in every art project. This encourages them to strategize and think outside the box. In doing so, they develop inventiveness and problem-solving skills that are important traits for any career. Creative learners grow up to be original thinkers who take risks and produce valuable outcomes.
2. Enhances Academic Performance
Art encourages the use of kids’ imagination, which in turn stimulates their cognitive abilities. Over time, these traits spill over onto other subjects like writing, mathematics, and science. A study done by the Americans for the Arts shows that children who “make art regularly (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair, or to win an award for writing an essay or poem.”
3. Boosts Confidence
Completing art projects helps kids build confidence. Choosing which materials to use or subjects to paint lets kids exercise independence, which in turn boosts their self-esteem. Because there’s no right or wrong answers in art, every child can take pride in his or her original creations. Research shows that artistic activities (creating new arts, in particular) can “validate the uniqueness of an individual, giving rise to a sense of accomplishment and helps enhance self‐empowerment and self‐worth.”
Keep in mind kids don’t have to be talented at art to get higher self-esteem. The research also states that “engagement, not ability, seems to be the key.” Children simply have to finish an art project successfully to develop confidence.
4. Improves Emotional Health
A study done by the National Endowment for the Arts shows that art helps children “regulate their emotions, a critical skill for well-adjusted children and adults.” Drawing or painting takes a child into a journey of self-discovery. Art becomes a healthy outlet for them to express their feelings and let go of any fears that they cannot express through words.
5. Encourages Patience
The only way to master a skill or perfect a drawing is through focus and continuous practice. This is something children learn when creating art. Art trains kids to not give up and strive for the best possible output. Such skills are important in facing a fast-paced and competitive world.
Letting your children create visual art can have positive effects on their character. As guardians, it is important to constantly provide them with artistic opportunities. Art workshops and classes will further hone their skills and encourage creative expression.