Thursday, February 6, 2014

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Top 5 Benefits Of Art In A Child's Life

The first time I picked up a paintbrush. I knew I was holding my holy grail. That moment was one of the few I remember from my days as a toddler. and would influence the rest of my life. I was painting on a daily basis before I even started school. and continued my studies of art and its many facets clear into adulthood. As a middle school art teacher by day and a freelance artist in all other hours. my life is dedicated to art. I see children's faces light up with wonder and excitement when they paint their first masterpieces. and I see the confidence and delight it inspires. When schools began cutting art programs. it broke my heart. Artistic expression of any kind is crucial to a child's development. and should never be overlooked. Here are just a few of the many. many benefits art brings to a child's life:
Top Benefits Of Art In A Child's Life
Top Benefits Of Art In A Child's Life
1. Counteracts boredom and stress. If your child is full of energy and has trouble sitting still or listening. encouraging the child to take up art is an excellent solution. If old enough. enroll your child in a local art program. Otherwise. set up a space in your home and fill it with easels and supplies. Painting and exploring various media (paints. sculpting clay. oils. pottery. crayons. markers. tile carvings. pencils. etc.) channels thought and concentration by teaching the child to develop a concept and stick with it. On the other hand. if your child is a little on the energetic side. sit him or her down with a ball of sculpting clay. Sculpting clay is a little harder than generic child's putty. thereby requiring more energy. By keeping the activity fun. they will never know that you have simply taught them to refocus this excess of energy into a project. Reinforce the behavior by praising them and displaying the work. In addition. if you join them in these artistic endeavors. you will experience a fun way to bond with your child.

2. Promotes a healthy mentality. Child development experts often ask children to draw or sculpt during therapy. allowing them to analyze the child's subconscious. Children tend to use art to vent their feelings. so by encouraging them to pursue this talent. your child will learn to identify and appropriately manage feelings and emotions. In addition. by pinpointing various emotions. pressures. and problems. they will be better equipped for effective and healthy problem-solving.

3. Develops critical thinking skills. To make art. a child must take a concept or look at an object. decide how they see it. and recreate it in that image. Whether they decide to take a unique and abstract approach or a classical. traditional one. they learn to focus on a goal and slowly work towards it. They must decide which methods work and which do not when matching the image to their reality. This not only breeds creativity. but pinpoints skills in life necessary for success like attention to detail. focus. patience. hard work. motivation. discipline. determination. and tolerance.

4. Enhances dexterity. Whether teaching to stay between the lines of a coloring book or sculpt a detailed face from clay. a child must learn to use their hand-eye coordination and the movements of their fingers and hands to yield desired results. As a multisensory experience. children are able to link both sides of their brains for an engaging activity that fosters logic and creativity. which must be completed through improved dexterity.

5. Improves self-esteem. All of these qualities combine into one that plays. perhaps. one of the most crucial roles in success: self-esteem. With a heightened sense of self and confidence in that self image. your child will grow into a successful adult. Confident adults take more risks. and therefore reap more rewards. Some studies have concluded that children consistently enrolled in comprehensive art programs are four times more likely to be elected to class office. four times more likely to participate in math and science fairs. and four times more likely to win awards for writing. In addition. students who take a few art classes tend to perform significantly better on standardized tests. like the SAT.

Hopefully you have begun to understand the importance of art. Enroll your child in an art program. or set up a studio for them at home. Even if your children claim to have no artistic inclination. take them to museums to bring that cultural influence into their lives. Make sure to nurture this talent; never force it or they may rebel. Always reinforce through praise and celebration. and the child will never see it as a chore. The lifelong benefits will speak for themselves and contribute to a more focused. disciplined. creative. productive. and confident individual bound for success.


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