The teaching of art to children can sometimes take a back seat when there are so many other subjects to fit into the timetable. However, allowing pupils to explore creatively can teach a whole range of skills which might not seem immediately obvious. Here are some of the benefits of allowing kids time to develop their artistic abilities.
Art develops spatial awareness
By drawing and painting often, children will begin to understand concepts such as scale and proportion. This helps to develop the same parts of the brain needed for mathematical skills. Even children who do not enjoy working with numbers may begin to build up their confidence in certain areas when they see ideas represented visually.
It builds problem solving skills
When a child encounters a problem in a positive and enjoyable environment, they will naturally use their curiosity to try and work out a solution. Some children can become demoralised when they know there is always a definite right or wrong answer to a task, but art asks open-ended questions to which there are always a variety of solutions.
It is a shared experience
Making art can cut through differences in culture and upbringing which tend to make some children stick to small social cliques. Working on collaborative craft projects brings a unified sense of purpose to the group, where everyone can contribute equally. This helps to build self-confidence, and encourages open-mindedness and social skills.
It improves neural connections
Very young children are still developing brain connections, or synapses, every day. Making art is especially helpful to this process because they can employ all of the senses, as they learn to mix paint colours and work with different textures and materials. Manipulating a paintbrush, pencil or scissors also develops the fine motor skills.
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