The importance of art in young children’s lives

The importance of art in children's livesIt is important to understand how much children can grow and learn with something as simple as arts and crafts. Toddler’s scribbles help improve their fine motor skills, and as they grow older, these scribbles become more purposeful. Eventually, the coordination of their visual and motor skills will improve. Arts and crafts encourage children’s focus, improves their self-esteem and confidence, and gives them a positive way to express their feelings. Below, you will find a list of ways to encourage your child’s creativity through art.

Tips to encourage your child’s creativity and expression through arts and crafts…

Encourage and emphasize the process of their art work, instead of the product. It is more important to see the steps taken to create the art peice rather than the end result.

Allow their art experience to vary each time. Offer different combinations of art supplies.
For example, one day lay out a bunch of different supplies, such as crayons, glue, pipe cleaners, pom poms, confetti, tissue bits, etc. The next day lay out paints, sparkles, different utensils/tools for painting (like small toy cars, slightly blown up balloons). The next day let them choose their own art supplies and see what they can create with it.

Try not to direct their art work, encourage exploration.  After setting them up with their tools and supplies, allow them to come up with their own ideas of how to be creative with them. Show positive feedback with the paths they choose when creating their art work.
Sometimes children will say they would like to make “a bird” or a “castle,” in this case, you can still provide little assistance while letting them take the art into their own direction. You can cut out the shape for them, and let them use their supplies to decorate it.

Let children discover what they enjoy most, and what they are good at. If they discover that they like a certain art form, and want to work with it each time, try to encourage further exploration of that media. For example, if your child prefers to use paints, try to vary their experience them. Offer different tools for painting, or different things to paint on. You can also offer another supply to add to their art (glitter and tissue paper stick great when used on wet paint).

Ask questions about your child’s art. Let them explain what they have made and if there is a story behind it.

Display your child’s work. Let your child know you are proud of them and like their work, decorate your house with it!

Save your child’s work. It is nice for children to have a spot where they can look back on all the work they have done and see their progress. Staple two bristol boards together and let your child decorate it. This can then be used as a giant folder to collect and store all their art work.

Let them get messy! Try not to think about the big mess they will make, focus on the fact that they are exploring, learning, and growing. When they’re done, give them a job to do to help with the clean up, and try to make it fun!

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