Art is one of the most important forms of self-expression for our children. As parents and educators, our hopes and goals for our children are that they grow up to be independent free thinkers, always curious, and looking for problems that they can solve. When they are younger, the best thing that we can do to support all of these traits is to create an open and inspiring art space in our homes or classrooms for our children to create in!
This is a series of posts designed to help you create an open-ended art space that will inspire your child to be creative, expressive, and to share their ideas and interests through visual art.
PART 1- Why Your Child Needs an Art Space
PART 3- Setting Up Invitations to Create
“Art has the role in education of helping children become more like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” – Sydney Gurewitz Clemens
Aside from allowing your child the opportunity to be creative and to explore a variety of art mediums, an art space that is freely accessible to your child provides SO many incredible benefits! These benefits extend far beyond simply getting better at art.
- Self-expression and creativity are of course obvious benefits and are exactly what we need in this world where we are facing more and more problems and will need people who have and can create solutions.
- Responsibility and self-regulation skills are boosted when children are able to choose their own materials, manage and ration, and decide how to use them.
- Strong neural connections throughout the body are being made as our children use all of their senses when they are creating art.
- Fine motor skills are increasingly developed for children of all ages when they use a variety of tools to create art. Children are using manual dexterity, physical strength, and coordination to create.
- As children draw and scribble, they are building skills necessary for writing, making art a strong precursor to early literacy skills development.
- Collaboration and idea sharing are critical social skills that are developed when children work collaboratively on a project or discuss what they are working on with others. Art is a great leveler.
- Children build empathy skills, work through their own feelings, and learn about the world around them as they express their thoughts and feelings through art.
In the next post in this series, we’ll look at tips and tricks to setting up an open-ended art space in your home or classroom. Until then, I encourage you to reflect on some of the recent art experiences that you’ve had with your children.
Did you have expectations for the outcomes or was it completely child-led? Was it an enjoyable experience for everyone or were parts of it stressful? Did you over-participate, leading too much of the project? How did this project feel for you? For your child?
As always, you are welcome to come share your thoughts in the Your Natural Learner Facebook Group!