The art of creating: Why art is important for early childhood development

Featured

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 2.08.42 PMArt exploration is not only fun and entertaining, but also educational. Here are some tips for growing your budding artist.

Children are naturally curious. From the minute they gain control of their limbs, they work to put themselves out into the world to see how it all works. They explore, observe and imitate, trying to figure out how things operate and how to control themselves and their environments. This unrestricted exploration helps children form connections in their brain, it helps them learn—and it’s also fun.

Art is a natural activity to support this free play in children. The freedom to manipulate different materials in an organic and unstructured way allows for exploration and experimentation. These artistic endeavors and self-directed explorations are not only fun, but educational as well. Art allows youth to practice a wide range of skills that are useful not only for life, but also for learning.

Skills youth practice when participating in art activities include:

• Fine motor skills. Grasping pencils, crayons, chalk and paintbrushes helps children develop their fine motor muscles. This development will help your child with writing, buttoning a coat and other tasks that require controlled movements.

• Cognitive development. Art can help children learn and practice skills like patterning and cause and effect (i.e., “If I push very hard with a crayon the color is darker.”). They can also practice critical thinking skills by making a mental plan or picture of what they intend to create and following through on their plan.

• Math skills. Children can learn, create and begin to understand concepts like size, shape, making comparisons, counting and spatial reasoning.

• Language skills. As children describe and share their artwork, as well as their process, they develop language skills. You can encourage this development by actively listening and asking open-ended questions in return. It is also a great opportunity to learn new vocabulary words regarding their project (i.e., texture).

In addition to helping youth develop important skills, free expression is also good for overall health and well-being. Giving your child a creative outlet can help relieve stress and work through things happening in their lives. By encouraging artistic expression, you can help facilitate learning.

Dali’s Late Work at the High Museum

Dali
This was a great treat…we went to see his work at the High Museum in Atlanta this week…
dali 2
His art and his personality were larger than life. This exhibit brings together a stunning collection of more than 40 paintings, plus film, sculptures and photographs—many never before seen in public.

According to the High’s team this exhibition shares for the first time the diverse body of work that Dalí created in the last forty years of his career. Reinventing himself during the 1940s, Dalí used his art to visually explore science, psychology, and religion—as he often said, painting the subject matter of his time.

Wish I had continued painting after seeing this…