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The Importance of Exposing Children to Art

From working through feelings and emotions to boosting problem-solving abilities, creativity and fine and gross motor skills, there are so many amazing benefits…

The founder of kindergarten schools, Friedrich Froebel, believed the early learning establishments should offer an environment in which children can reach their full creative potential under the protective and interactive guidance of an adult. To Froebel, art activities were important, not because they allowed teachers to recognise children with unusual abilities, but because as he saw it, they encouraged each child’s “full and all-sided development,” as he explained in 1826. 

Caregivers should always surround children with art, which helps in their overall cognitive development. Parents are frequently encouraged to take the initiative and visit museums with their children, even though these days those visits will be virtual. It is better to start at children’s museums and then follow that up with more challenging visits. One of the many benefits of visiting a children’s museum is they often have interactive displays and exhibits, which promote creativity and imagination.

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Artistic endeavours help children learn to adapt to and respect others’ ways of working and thinking, as well as gain the tools necessary to develop empathy. When exposed to art in an effective way, children can learn that like most things in life, art is an experience to have whether good or bad. “Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence,” the polish sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz once said. 

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Art also builds children’s self confidence by giving them opportunities to express what they are thinking and feeling. Because there are multiple ways to make art, all children can feel pride in their original artistic creations. There is an overwhelming agreement among teachers that producing and showing off their art to an audience helps alleviate shyness from children of all ages.

What’s more, exposure to art at an early age can increase children’s IQ. Kids who work with art tend to grasp the main subjects at school easier and get better grades than those who are not given the same experiences or who may lack that self-awareness and self-confidence that gives them strength in dealing with situations in the future.

In addition to helping children build strong social and emotional skills, art also helps children develop better communication capabilities. At an early age children can express things through art that they aren’t able to express vocally yet.

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Children with special needs particularly need a lot of sensory stimulation, and that need can most probably be manifested in their entire lives. Art therapy is regularly used for treating children who suffer from mental health problems, grief, learning disabilities, emotional problems, physical abuse or cancer.  Plus, it is another important aid to achieving better self-awareness in children. It can provide kids with an easier way to express themselves since they are naturally more artistic and creative. In fact, art therapy can be a much more viable solution for communication than simply having a conversation and talking about things with children. Art therapy can help bring suppressed emotions to the surface so the art therapist can then focus on healing the child’s individual problems.

Drawings are frequently used by child psychologists to depict an actual experience, such as playing with friends that can help release feelings of joy they may or may not be able to express verbally. Tots can also share other emotionally charged experiences they don’t have language for through art. Creating art helps children work through feelings, and reflecting on a finished piece of artwork helps children address their feelings in very meaningful ways.

Art is an indispensable tool to help children with autism, who have an extraordinary ability to think visually. Many can turn that ability to good use in processing memories, recording images and visual information, and expressing ideas through drawing or other artistic media. Art is a form of expression that requires little or no verbal interaction, which can open doors to communication.

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According to the New York Centre for Arts Education there are many benefits to exposing children to art, including:
- Kids learn to think creatively, with an open mind.
- Kids learn to observe and describe, analyse and interpret.
- Kids learn to express feelings, with or without words.
- Kids discover there are more than one right answer and multiple points of view.
- Kids learn to collaborate with other children and adults.
-  Arts introduce children to cultures from around the world.

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