Whether it is drawing, painting, doodling, making music, or even performing in a role-playing activity, children simply love the arts. Sadly, whenever a school has to cut down on costs, art subjects are almost always the first to go perhaps of the popular notion that it does not provide any tangible benefit for children’s development. However, child development psychologists say that art has a very important role to play in helping kids discover more about themselves instead of being contented on becoming just like everyone else. And in case you’re not really sure, here are some of the major benefits of art for kids.
Whenever we talk about creativity, we always talk about the ability to create or craft something. But, not many of us actually understand and appreciate the many complex processes that occur in the process of creation. In a gist, creativity talks about our ability to think outside the box. When given an empty box, a truly creative child can come up with a hundred and one different ways in which the box can be used. Adults, on the other hand, are often limited in their creativity because experience tells them that a box is nothing more than a box. Engaging in the arts help our kids make full use of their creativity by giving them the opportunity to be as vivid and imaginative in whatever it is they create.
Encourages optimum neural connections
Contrary to what most of us think, there is science to art. When kids apply color to an image, they are essentially trying to mentally experiment with colors. These mental or cognitive processes require the lightning-fast transmission of impulses across the neural network. Science shows that the more neurons we use in a particular activity, the healthier it is for our brain. That is why artistic individuals are also very creative and they can think fast on their feet because of these improved neural connections.
Refines motor skills
One of the most obvious yet also often overlooked benefits of the arts is the refinement of children’s motor skills. This is particularly true for younger kids who may need to master the art of holding crayons, coloring pencils, and other art materials to produce artistic expressions. Holding a paintbrush, mixing colors, drawing lines and shapes, and even cutting with scissors all require mastery of fine motor movement. Consequently, kids also develop and refine their spatial reasoning as well as balance and coordination.
Develops problem-solving skills
Most people simply cannot see how arts can help develop children’s problem-solving skills. It’s not rocket science. But the process involved always starts with a question or a problem which kids will have to find the answer to. Engaging in the arts can also provide such an opportunity to exercise one’s problem-solving skills.
For instance, when given an instruction to draw a tree figure, the question that kids will want to answer can be how big the tree should be or whether it should look like an oak or even a palm tree. This is the problem. Kids will then experiment with a variety of tree forms until they arrive at the one which they think best represents a tree. This is problem-solving at its most basic.
Arts allow kids to express their ideas and their feelings about themselves and their world in a safe manner. They know that art is largely considered as an expression of their being. It is through art that children are able to identify who they want to be and not what other people expect them to become.