It is never too early to introduce your child to the arts and so easy to incorporate creative activities into their everyday life. With countless studies proving that simply picking up a crayon or paintbrush can aid in your child's healthy development, it is no wonder why parents are beginning to encourage artistic ventures with just as much vigor and enthusiasm as standard academics. According to these studies, it is recommended that children should engage in the arts while their cognitive skills are developing. During this time, the left and right hemispheres of the brain are still growing. The left side of the brain controls logical thinking, dealing with analytical processes such as math, reading and science, while the right side of the brain controls emotional perception and creativity. It is important that both sides of the brain develop equally during this time in order to reach a healthy balance in which both regions can work together simultaneously.
According to the New York Center for Arts Education, integrating artistic activities into your child's life can have many positive effects that can last an entire lifetime. Listed below are just some of the benefits of introducing your child to the arts at an early age. While you may have been aware of some of these positive effects, others will truly surprise you! Read on to find out how the arts can impact your child's life in an amazing way!
1. Strengthened motor skills: As your child holds a paintbrush or pencil in their hand, they are actually improving their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, which can be incredibly useful later in life.
2. Language development and visual learning: Drawing or painting with your child will spark opportunities for them to learn new words for colors and objects and correctly associate each word with an image. By doing so, your child will be able to recall what they've learned with greater ease and use this new information properly in everyday life.
3. Improved confidence and self-esteem: Creating something yourself or expressing yourself artistically can spark feelings of accomplishment and pride – personal characteristics that are incredibly important. Let your child create whatever they imagine and acknowledge their efforts. Feeling good about yourself – even at a young age – can go a long way.
4. Strong sense of dedication, focus, and improved decision-making skills: Bringing their ideas to live in a fun and creative manner can help your child learn to follow through on personal projects, make their own choices and stay on task.
5. Healthy expression of emotion, strong sense of creativity and inventiveness: You may have guessed that engaging in the arts can enable your child to become more creative and inventive, but did you know that exercising the right side of the brain through artistic activities can help your little one to learn to understand and express their emotions positively? Strong emotional intelligence is an excellent quality to have, playing an important role in leading a balanced, happy life and forming positive relationships with others.
6. Teamwork, collaboration, and sense of community: Working together with friends and family will teach your child how to interact with others in order to achieve a common goal. Participating in local art programs can demonstrate the importance of community and togetherness. In addition, fun, creative group activities can be an incredible bonding experience for you and your child.
7. Increased academic performance: Children who frequently participate in the arts throughout their lives tend to do better in school and are proven to score up to three times higher on standardized tests such as the SATs. In addition, they are more likely to have higher scores in attendance, participate in community service and after-school programs and receive awards for their achievements.
Now that you are more familiar with all the fantastic things the arts can do for your child, you may be asking yourself how and when you can begin. The answer to that question is easily and right now! There are many ways to introduce fun, artistic and rewarding activities into your child's life and your family's schedule. Remember that the arts include painting, drawing, music, theater, sculpture, writing, dancing, photography – there is something for everyone to enjoy! Here are some simple tips on how to get started:
Always have arts and crafts supplies available to your child. Celebrate your child's artwork and display it around the home. Put together a designated 'art studio' or creative space for your child. Read aloud to your child – be dramatic, energetic and act out the plot together. Play all different types of music for your child and expand their knowledge of different cultures. Make a scrapbook together. Book a professional family photo shoot and turn the family into a work of art!