Art is Smart!
Here Are 5 Reasons Why Art Is So Important for Early Childhood Development.
Studies show students who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance. In fact, countries that consistently score highest in math and the sciences have mandatory art classes in schools.
Unfortunately, arts programs in U.S. schools are often underfunded and in danger of being cut. This is in large part due to most states now providing less support per student in elementary and secondary schools, leading to decreased funds and fewer teachers.
Despite the reduced focus on the arts in schools today, parents are encouraged to provide their children with exposure through supplemental programs outside of the traditional classroom.
In early childhood development, art benefits children in a variety of ways, such as:
1. Motor Skills
When kids participate in creating arts and crafts, there are many movements involved. From holding a paintbrush to coloring with a crayon, a child’s fine motor skills progress through this hands-on approach to education. Other actions, such as using scissors, help develop the dexterity children need for writing.
2. Language Development
In addition to getting their hands physically dirty creating art, children have the opportunity to expand their vocabulary by learning words for colors, shapes and various actions. This helps children use descriptive words to discuss their creation, and will help them express what feelings are elicited from observing different types of art by the time they are in elementary school.
Studies show art education strengthens both critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in young children. The process of creating art gives children choices and urges them to make decisions in the course of creating their art – a crucial skill that translates into other parts of life. For example, exploration through art will encourage children to try new ideas in other areas of life. Not only will this further spark creativity and imagination, but children can also use critical thinking to react to new experiences and problem-solve when necessary.
4. Cultural Awareness
Exposing children to a variety of interpretations on society is a great way to help them understand the nuances of their surroundings and embrace the differences they see around them in the diverse society we live in today.
5. Encourages Neural Connections
Because art employs any or all of the senses, such as sight, sound, taste and smell, the synapses in the brain of a small child fire away as they experience situations that immerse their senses and further encourage their creativity. In fact, a young brain makes billions of new connections with every bit of new knowledge it is exposed to. In young children, artistic activities lead to the formation of well-rounded personalities, good attachment, self-esteem and better mental health.
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