“What is art?”
A single question that every teacher asks every time to their students. By definition, art is an expression of mixed human creative skillfulness and perception. Art maybe sounds easy for some, but it is actually a broad subject with several branches.
Throughout time, human proved that art is alive and self-preserving. The beauty and meaning of every masterpiece keeps art prevail throughout time. With all the target ages of art, it seems that children dig in more into it than normal adults. For kids, art is more of fun than technical and it is a worthwhile activity which they can enjoy.
Teaching art to young minds is definitely a good start to stir their inquisitiveness and imagination. Introducing and exploring art to young minds is one of the most imperative components for the development of an individual – from motors skills to intellectual progressions.
Benefits of Arts to Young Minds
A study conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has shown that art can have an affirmative upshot on children particularly from infants up to eight-year olds. In the research performed by NEA, it was made known that art making is linked to kids’ emotional parameter. Reflecting and educating art in youngsters can be interconnected on how they see the world and everything that surrounds them and how they react and handle certain situations thrown at them.
In relation to the idea mentioned above, below are the apparent benefits that art can give to a child at young age.
ART UNLOCKS CREATIVITY
Through art activities, children are given countless of opportunities to think outside the box. They are taught to be ingenious, innovative, imaginative and to be original. A kid who is introduced and exposed to art at a very young age attains an exceptional capability to think creatively in his own way.
ART ENHANCES MOTOR SKILLS
In the process of creating art, fine motor skills are instinctively improved. With a day to day basis of doing tasks related to art; dexterity, organization and harmonization in children are practiced. Whether by drawing basic shapes, single or connecting lines, painting and mixing colors, cutting figures or working with play dough or clay, art tenders an opportunity to amplify eye-hand coordination and optimize muscle control and strength.
ART PRACTICES DECISION MAKING
Creating art is an endless chance for making preferences, second guessing opinions, finalizing conclusions and assessing outcomes. Likewise, it fortifies critical thinking ability and problem solving skill.
ART DEVELOPS VISUAL LEARNING
Children are gradually taking in visual information since they’re little – grasping toys, appreciating dark colors, comparing toys, and the list goes on. Equally, art activities such as basic drawing, painting, clay molding and such can certainly expand visual-spatial skills, which is a vital developmental aspect for kids.
ART PROMOTES NEURAL LINKS
Art makes use of all five senses— sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Most of the time, two or more of these senses are activated in order to experience art in full. As these senses are being utilized, the brain works like a horse, firing neurons and activating synapses for creation and experimentation. Because the brain is very active when children are exposed to art activities, a lot of observation, imagination, and creation are expected to happen.
ART AUGMENTS LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Learning color names, shapes and distinguishing figures in art can expand a child’s vocabulary list. Kids love to associate art to everything that surrounds them. Take for example, when they see a blue crayon, they are likely to link the color blue to skies and seas, green crayon to lively grass, and yellow color to bright shining sun. With a child’s notion of relating art to the environment, he is instinctively developing his language proficiency.
ART BUILDS RELATIONSHIP AMONG KIDS
Art sets a common ground for children of different ages who don’t share the same interests. An art activity could be a group activity which provide kids with the venue to interact, negotiate, compromise, and contribute. These interventional activities are the foundations of developing social skills of a person and art exposes that to kids.
ART HELPS KIDS EXPRESS THEIRSELVES
Art has always been an outlet in expressing one’s thoughts and desires. For kids, a simple doodle and leaning towards a favorite color can actually give idea on how kids perceive things. When faced with an art that they need to describe, kids will have the chance to give their honest and purest of ideas about it which in turn reflect to how they were raised and what their aspirations are. In short, art is both an outlet and a window to a kids’ individualities.
Must-Try Art Activities
Let the kids create an abstract art on their own without setting extremities on the theme. By letting them do such, they can express themselves naturally without hesitations. It’s a fun way of seeing a child’s potential and keenness.
On the other hand, you can also give a twist in the said drawing activity by giving them verbal instructions and at the same time letting them express their own understanding into drawing.
This activity is an excellent warm up for children to get fascinated with art.
• Coloring Materials
How to do it:
1. Provide each child a clean sheet of paper and coloring materials such as crayons, pastels or and markers.
2. Give them at least 20 minutes to create their abstract masterpieces.
BLIND CONTOUR DRAWING
Blind contour drawing is a great approach to test out and exercise the eyes to replicate something on what they truly are and not how the kids sees it.
In blind contour drawing, the eye must be merely focused on the given subject while the hand is solely working on the illustration.
• Pencils or Markers
• Subject Matter
How to do it:
1. Select an object as subject matter inside the classroom (vase,flower,mug,fruits,etc).
2. Provide the children papers, pencils or markers.
3. Give thorough instructions on the flow of the activity.
4. Allot at least 30 minutes for this session.
EDIBLE COLOR MIXING
Color mixing is one of the basic lessons in art. Introduce the primary and secondary colors to kids by letting their hands get tinted.
• Red, yellow and blue food coloring
• Vanilla Cake Frosting
• Small Bowls
• Popsicle Sticks
• White Construction Papers
• Paint Brush
• Table Napkins
How to do it:
1. Print color names on the construction papers. This will serve as labels for them after every mixing.
2. In three separate bowls, mix the red, yellow and blue food coloring with the cake frosting.
3. Along with the children, mix the following colors to produce a new one:
Yellow + Red = Orange
Red + Blue = Violet
Blue + Yellow = Green
4. Make sure to ask the kids to predict what is the resulting color for every combination to engage participation.
5. For every resulting color, smear a small amount of it on the clean paper.
Paint blots is a great example for creating something artsy by without the intention of doing so. It will surely be a fun activity for kids to be able to appreciate color combinations and abstract forms.
How to do it:
1. Provide the kids clean white and preferably thick paper and water based paint.
2. Let the kids fold the papers into half to create a transparent margin in the center.
3. Ask them to paint a few drops of watercolor with lots of combination onto one side of the paper.
4. Instruct them to fold the paper again and press the top part of it.
5. After a few minutes, they can unfold the paper again to see the colorful blots.
Outlining is the trick needed for an artwork to look complete. Let the kids enjoy painting and outlining their masterpieces. With this technique, you are able to improve their free hand drawing skills.
How to do it:
1. Let the kids make a sketch of anything they want to use as a subject.
2. Let them paint their sketches.
3. After painting, ask them to outline the painted sketch to finalize the project.
4. Make sure to guide them with the right colors and proper outlining.
Early childhood development is very crucial in creating a functioning member of the society in the future and art is definitely a tool to produce good results out of that. There are a lot of things that art can help in a child’s development and happiness. It is a known fact that teaching a child in the ways that he/she goes is not easy and varies for everyone. One thing’s for sure though is that a child cannot acquire the right knowledge, skills, and attitude if the child is not happy of what he/she is doing. Incorporating fun is the key to effective child learning and it is a good thing that art is capable of that.
So, never deny opportunities for your own children to be exposed to arts. Arts is one influence that there are no regrets at, only growth, development, and fulfillment.