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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Post: There's more to art than meets the eye!


Art is an incredibly powerful language for young children. Art is often the simplest and most natural way for children to communicate what they are thinking. It is their learning made visible. Through art children can tell an invented story, relate real events and express their emotions and ideas.  In creating art they are able to represent a thought or feeling through an image, therefore making their ideas more tangible.  With children, art is thinking made concrete because children's art is representational.  Even if it looks abstract to adults, when you engage your child in a conversation about his artwork, you will begin to see how he understands his world. Fears, powerfulness or lack of power, likes and dislikes, relationships and interests are all represented in a child's art.  Art is communication and it plays an essential role in a child's healthy development.



Not only does creating art help to develop the right side of a child's brain, but it fosters creative thinking skills and helps to develop fine motor skills.  Art helps children to take risks, try new ideas out - experiment and solve problems. Art is also an important medium for learning about oneself and the world. Through creating art, children learn to use critical thinking skills. Experimenting with color mixing, using different media and different tools to paint or create sculptures provides low threat opportunities for children to risk, experiment, and master a variety of skills.  Creating art can give children a stronger sense of who they are and what they are capable of achieving in the world as they learn to express themselves.  There is no right or wrong way to create art, as each child has their own individual voice through their art. That is why it is important for young children to be given the freedom to create art without the confines of samples or printed lines within which to draw.


When children make art, the lessons they learn go far beyond the art activity. It is the PROCESS NOT THE PRODUCT that holds the rich developmental value for young children.  Making art encourages the development of the types of skills that will reap positive effects in academic learning, social skills, communication skills and fine motor skills.   As children grow and develop, they will begin to want to refine their techniques and want to learn more about how to make their representations more accurate.  But for young children, open-ended art is where the rich child development opportunities lie.  Research shows that as they develop, children who engage in the arts do better in reading, writing and math, and that art helps children to develop critical thinking skills and encourages cultural awareness and understanding.  


It’s Arts and Music month at Pretend City – we hope you can drop by with your child and help them create masterpieces.

Linda Hunter, Senior Director of Education for Pretend City, want to help Parents Take A Closer Look At The Significance Of Their Children’s Art 

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