Art & Kids
It is the most natural instinct of a child to love colors, art and the whole process of creation. When nurtured and motivated this interaction between Art and a child grows to form a strong bond. A bond that strengthens with time and helps a child develop a multi-faceted personality and an out of the box thinking. He does not merely cram up information, but with art he knows how to process this information and internalize it as knowledge.
Children have an impressionable, open and fabulously inventive mind. This mind when coupled with an interactive art education is bound to bring in some wonderful results. These results are immediate and long lasting. As they grow up into strong, independent, confidential and creative individuals, the world is as such open to them, to exploit their potential in any arena of their choosing. Children with an early interest and education in art are evidently more evolved and have stronger intellectual, interpersonal and behavioral skills. They are better equipped to deal with the stress and strain of the new age lifestyle as they take failures in stride and celebrate their successes and grow into much healthier people with greater mental strength.
Art & Education
In this scenario when every child is bound to face some serious competitive environment, quite inadvertently the focus of education has shifted to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM. In doing so, the policymakers, the teachers and even the parents miss out on an important aspect of education, that is – the Arts. When the budget cuts come, it is the art programs in schools that suffer the first and the most, when it is a time shortage it is the arts in the curriculum that is shortened and when it is exam time the arts are obliterated from the time tables at home.
However, in doing so we fail to recognize the positive impact Arts have on child development and psyche. Integrating art in the education setup has proven to improve the academic capabilities and results. The most unique feature of Art education, is that it needs no language, it is a medium of expression in itself. The struggles of a limited vocabulary are dealt with in a most elegant fashion with art as the graceful facilitator. When children have been engaged and involved in an art integrated curriculum, they have some evident and distinct traits that set them apart from the crowd. Children with an art oriented education are more creative, confident, problem solvers, perseverant, focused, communicators, receptive to feedback, good collaborators, dedicated and accountable.
Art & Parenting
Parenting is a full time job – true isn’t it? The myriad facets of it extend beyond just taking care of the health and wellbeing of your young ones. It is the parents who have the most important role in shaping up the future of a child through a string of well informed and thought out decisions. An important part of all this is the seamless integration of art in the lives of the tots. It needs to be a conscious effort on the part of the parents to introduce and motivate the children to take up arts as an activity. As a parent it becomes a lot easier to carry this out as an effort as children have a natural affinity and enthusiasm to create, innovate and be involved in anything that has no rules.
Fun with Art
Art for kids need not be a regimented scheduled activity with a bunch of rules. Getting your hands and toes and clothes dirty is also a learning that the children take a lot away from. To draw out of the lines is sometimes just the release a child covets. The child blossoms in a free environment with a lot of scope for exploration in terms of materials, locations, themes or mediums. As a child has fun with his artwork, gradually and independently they pick up on their very own techniques and ways for self-expression. What is most interesting is that each child has a different learning from the same exercise and a unique interpretation of the same idea. It is this aspect of art that develops and shapes up the child into a multi-faceted persona.
Art projects for babies or messy play as we call them are a big stress for adults to plan and execute. However, for a baby there is nothing more delightful. It is through these fun art activities that the babies develop faster all while having some fun! Hand-eye coordination and motor skills are two of the most important skills that are enhanced by early introduction to arts.
Babies grow up into toddlers and start exploring this world that is ever new and full of discoveries for them. Every color, shape and form fascinates them. There is a special space and scope for art in their lives and it is up to us. To engage toddlers in arts, we need to think beyond gadgets and television and introduce some free style and some specially designed art projects to them.
As your toddler moves on to primary school, there is a big change the little one has to go through. A new environment, a new routine and new faces. Art can come as a happy release and a way to express what goes through their minds and helps them cope with this humungous change in their lives. Additionally art activities and projects help in the healthy development of their physical, emotional and social abilities.
The middle schoolers have endless energy and insatiable curiosity. Both these qualities are sated with the help of art in their lives. It is a creative release and a positive engagement that channelizes their energy. There is an added advantage of strengthening their basic skills, physical, emotional and intellectual.
Pre & Early teens
Pre and early teenage is a sensitive time for most youngsters. There is a lot that is happening around them and a great load of expectations that comes from their environment, peer, families, teachers and themselves. Children who have been exposed to art from early ages find it easier to deal with these stresses. An early art education helps them develop into confident teens with higher maturity level and a higher sensitivity towards other cultures.
There is a lot of angst and expectations attached to this age group. A group of young adults to be, a group that is still trying to find its grounding. Among teenagers, art fortified education develops a higher focus & concentration, a greater attention to detail, a more evolved hand-eye coordination, out of the box thinking, a stronger ability to follow through, sharper problem solving skill and better social skill.
IMPACT & BENEFITS
Art, when introduced at a young age accelerates the development of some desired qualities in kids. The most basic and prime are the motor skills. Some of the activities like holding a pencil/brush to draw some basic shapes enhance a child’s motor skills.
Intellectually or academically, a child is found to be stronger when he has had an exposure to the arts. A steep rise in the cognitive skills is noticed among these children. The children who have explored the realms of the arts also develop better non-verbal communication, are more focused, are perseverant and have more evolved problem solving skills.
For a child to open up is no easy feat. The children sometimes have a hard time expressing their innermost thought, positive and especially negative. Art is one medium that has always sorted it out for the kids. There is a strong sense of achievement in each completion and it induces confidence, fulfilment and a higher decision making skill set.
Social awkwardness is a common trait of the children who have grown up in nuclear families. Children more engaged in the arts are more accepting, conducive to change, respond better to constructive feedback and engage more productively in collaborative projects.
The kids find solace in creative pursuit. Kids with an exposure to the world of arts have a stronger coping mechanism. In the stressful world that the children are growing up to face, this is one of the strongest skills the children need and bank on today. A background and inclination the arts helps the kids destress and take all the challenges in stride with a higher quotient of out of the box thinking. The kids are more dedicated, focused, accountable and confident when engaged in the arts from the start.
Curriculum & Art
It is imperative in today’s world to have an art integrated or infused curriculum that exploits the creative worth and talents of a kid while engaging him in the whole process rather than just the product. A curriculum fortified with inputs from the arts needs to develop with the help of art and education experts who have an open mind and inputs from child psychologists can be a valuable input.
Encouraging Art in Classes
In a class of preschoolers or middle schoolers or even teens there is a certain need for guided encouragement which is more than just verbal. There is more to art than just planning and execution. The verbal and non-verbal encouragement plays an important part in involving children furthermore into the arts.
Art Appreciation & Sensitization
An interest in the arts is inculcated not suddenly not at a certain age and certainly not by force. To make sure that children are not bored stiff to the extent where they begin to escape them. Some interesting techniques and points need to be kept in mind where the educators and attendants alike need to sensitize the children and get them excited to witness, engage and get involved in the great works of art. A systemized and subtle push to appreciate the masterworks of great artists goes a long way to delve the kids a little deeper into this fascinating world.
Learning & Fun with Art
Art for kids is definitely a lot of fun! This fun activity however, has more layers to it than just an assortment of superficial coloring assignments. A well designed art project involves and develops the faculties of a child as it offers a wide scope of learning while engaging the child in a series of seemingly fun activities.
ART & PARENTING
Parenting a child today has a lot more connotations than it had in the past. Academics, sports and the creative arts, nothing should take a back seat with the next generation. While academics and sports have always got their due importance with parents and authorities, it the fine arts or the arts that has taken the backseat in most households. Incorporating art from a young age into the life and routine of a young one brings in a warmth and comfort. As a parent it should come as a conscious initiative to involve and engage a child in this arena of unlimited possibilities and explorations. A well-rounded personality brings in a measure of holistic success in the future of a child.
Art in the lives of your children does more than just induce some fun. It is definitely important for a child to have some fun, but when there is a conscious design in this activity, it can add some learning and benefits for the child. At home the easiest step may be to keep all art supplies always at hand. Invent new art projects for you and the child to collaborate and spend some quality time together. This activity helps enhance the creative confidence in your child while bringing the two of you a lot closer and develop a stronger bond.