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The Benefits of Art for Young Children

Children of every age love to color, paint, draw, cut, and glue. And often, the messier the project, the better!

Should art for young children be seen as just a mess, or is there a developmental reason for the chaos?

Luckily, research shows that channeling a child’s creativity through art has many positive benefits for their future. Here are just a few.

Art Develops Fine Motor Skills

Children begin to develop fine motor skills around twelve months of age by acquiring the pincher grasp. Babies use the pincher grasp to pick up foods like Cheerios. As they grow, children will gradually learn more fine-tuned motor skills, but children need a lot of practice before they can successfully write their names on homework assignments. 

Art provides motivation for children to develop fine motor skills. Gripping a crayon while dragging it along the paper is challenging for young hands, but the delight of seeing color spread across the page gives the child a reason to keep going. 

Scribbling is a precursor to handwriting, so it’s vital to allow plenty of time for children to experiment with scribbling. Over time, the intrinsic muscles needed for handwriting will mature and strengthen, making handwriting easier in kindergarten. 

Art Develops Problem-Solving Skills

Art is open-ended. Any form of art provides endless possibilities to express the imagination. During the creative process, children choose colors, textures, and proportions, and they learn problem-solving skills to get it to all fit together. They may change their mind along the way and need to adapt, or perhaps they made a mistake and must choose to either hide or include the mistake in their final creation.

These problem-solving skills aid children in social and educational situations. They learn to persevere and concentrate, make the best of mistakes, and learn how to do things correctly the next time.

Art Helps Express Themselves

Children experience a range of emotions throughout the day and are learning how to control and channel these feelings. Learning art is one of the best tools a child can constructively express their emotions. 

If a child is feeling angry or anxious, an “art timeout” will allow them time to focus on something else and return to their situation of frustration or anxiety with a calm spirit. 

Art Improves Academic Performance

Believe it or not, art can improve academic performance! Studies under review show a correlation between creativity and higher IQ. Learning shapes and space helps children master early math skills and learn concepts such as bigger and smaller, opposites, and spatial awareness. 

Art Builds Language Skills

Art offers a peek into the child’s perception of the world. This allows child-to-adult or child-to-child interactions based on their art. Communicating about art builds language skills as the child tells about their art or asks questions about a peer’s art. 

Further, children are able to learn to give constructive criticism and receive insight about their art in a gracious way.  

Art Builds Well-Rounded Persons

When we focus on memorizing factual information in the early years, we can create children who are hardened to the beauty around us. Art helps children delight in the small areas of beauty, experience pride in their work, and value another’s art.

How Do I Start?

Hopefully, you are inspired to help your child experience the beauty of art. But how do you get started?

Luckily, art is easy to incorporate into your daily routine–it just takes a little intentionality. Starting with simple crayons and paper or a coloring book, talk about each color and shape. Some basic paints (or pre-colored paint with water pictures) are sure to delight your child and have very little cleanup. Paint sticks are another easy clean-up craft!

Older children can improve their fine motor skills by cutting with blunted children’s scissors or using stickers. Glue sticks can bring a new dimension to their cutout creations.

Art at Penguin Crossing Academy

At Penguin Crossing Academy, we strive to provide many opportunities for various art forms on a weekly basis. From infants to older ages, we include age-appropriate crafts, activities, and art appreciation so children gain all the benefits of art.

It can be hard to include your child’s art skills during a busy day. Thankfully, you can rest assured that your child receives age-appropriate and fun art skills at Penguin Crossing Academy.

Penguin Crossing Academy is proud to offer an outstanding curriculum that is educational, fun, and prepares your child for kindergarten per state educational standards.

If you’re looking to give your child a head start in school, contact Penguin Crossing Academy today!

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