Since I believe in the importance of art in a child’s development, art work has been a major part of my children’s upraising. One of the things that I work on with my children is having them explore their bodies through art.
As we have just returned from our summer break, we were only able to sketch and scratch a few scribbles on paper. Yet starting this week, I set a schedule where every Sunday we will have a session of art attack.
In her article “The Importance of Art in Child Development”, Grace Lynch states seven development benefits to art. She strongly believes that “simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development.”
I will briefly summarize only four of the main points and I recommend you read the whole article as well. (www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-importance-of-art-in-child-development )
As per Ms. Lynch, holding a paint brush or scribbling with a crayon helps in developing a child’s fine motor skills. Moreover, the use of scissors is essential as it develops the dexterity children will need for writing.
When children make art and they try to explain what they did, they are expressing themselves and learning how to communicate. In addition, their vocabulary is also increasing.
Art education strengthens problem-solving and critical- thinking skills. As the child is indulged with an art piece, he/she is working on certain decisions as to what colors need to be used, how to make certain drawings, etcetera. “If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,” says MaryAnn Kohl, an arts educator and author of numerous books about children’s art education.
Improved Academic Performance:
Recent studies show that there is a correlation between art and other academic achievements. Children, who are regularly subjected to art work at an early age show more involvement in participating in a math or science fair, or win an award for writing a poem or an essay.
Below are the art activities for the twins which will be carried out early on Sunday mornings:
Free style Painting:
This is quite a messy activity, but it is real fun. I did it with the twins in the kitchen where it is easy to clean after.
- Different A3 white paper taped on the floor
- Plates and brushes
- Dribble paint onto the plates. Use several different colors.
- Have your child explore using his/her body – mainly hands and feet – and his/her senses to discover the paint on his/her own. if the child is not comfortable, using a paint brush comes in handy.
- Allow the painting to dry.
- Wine bottle corks
- Liquid tempera paint in a shallow pan
- Let your child grasp the cork at one end and hold it upright.
- Press the cork into the paint then onto a piece of paper or newsprint.
- If you like, use tempera paint in several different colors.
Bubble Wrap Printing:
I love this activity as it shows the child how he/she can leave trace or prints behind him/her. It also works on the sense of touch as the child explores the cool and soft effect of the bubble wrap around his/her tiny cute feet.
- Bubble wrap packing material
- Liquid tempera paint (several different colors)
- A3 paper taped on the floor
- Tape the bubble wrap around the feet of your child (I kept their shoes on)
- By using a brush, have his/her feet painted then have him/her walk around the A3 paper until he/she loses interest.
This is a fun and kind of neat art activity. It makes the child visualize the differences of sizes and words like big, medium, small can be focused on.
- Drawing paper
- Crayons, markers, or paints
- Have your child stand on a piece of paper while you trace around his/her feet with a pen or crayon.
- Then trace your own feet and/or siblings’ feet and compare sizes.
- Color the feet with crayons, markers, or paints.
- Older children may want to use crayons, markers, or paint to add nail polish and funny rings to the toes.
This activity involves fine motor skill development and it also teaches a toddler about patience. If your child is likely to eat the glue-covered noodles, substitute corn syrup thinned with a little water for the glue. Many toddlers, on the other hand, might enjoy just playing with the warm pasta shells which is also part of discovery.
- White glue (or corn syrup)
- Food coloring in 2-3 different colors
- Containers for glue
- Cooked pasta shells
- Decide how many colors of glue you want to make, and pour the glue into that many containers.
- Add a few drops of food coloring to each glue container, using a different color for each container.
- Show your child how to dip the pasta shells, one piece at a time, into the colored glue, and lay it on the cardboard.
- Repeat, using different colors of glue, until your child tires of this activity.
There are millions of art ideas found on the web, but I would love to hear from you by sharing your own personal experience with us.
While my children and I do art, we feel relaxed, composed and serene. These are great characteristics children can try to acquire at an early age. Art work is in fact a great evolving pleasure.