There has been a trend over the past twenty years or so for schools to focus on the core subjects such as science and math at the expense of art and music. Administrators have argued that education money is tighter than it used to be and something has to give, so, unfortunately, art classes are cut. After all, they really aren’t that important, are they? Isn’t art class really a luxury at a time when schools are running out of money? Or is art essential to a developing child?
Art helps young children develop the fine motor skills they will need for writing. Holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a pencil aids toddlers obtain the dexterity they need in and out of school. Tying a shoelace, picking up a penny, drawing a circle require fine motor skills that are practiced through art.
Creating, or even just talking about, art provides so many opportunities for your toddler to increase his or her vocabulary. Think of all those color words. shape words, descriptive words, location words. Look at a work of art and talk about the brown dog under the tall tree next to the white house in the picture. Talk about the feelings in the picture. How do you think the dog feels now? Why do you think that? Talk about how a picture makes you feel. Wow! A huge vocabulary lesson in one picture!
Practicing art also helps children develop their visual learning. Visual-spatial skills are very important today in our society that relies so much on technology. When young ones weave, string beads, make animals out of clay or mud, they are learning to interpret cues about how to modify their work to obtain the desired effect. Children need to interpret, evaluate and use sensory information to come to conclusions.
Art also helps children become more creative, more inventive. To become successful adults in the world of tomorrow, today’s children need to learn to express themselves , take risks , and make mistakes Children who are afraid to take risks grow to be adults who can only follow directions, not thinking, inventive ones.
Finally, art helps students succeed in other subjects. Educators know that children who participate regularly in artistic projects excel in other subjects. There are many reasons why art helps students succeed in other academic areas. I have only mentioned a few, but teachers know that if you allow your toddler opportunities to cut, and paint, and color: if you talk about art with your child, chances are your child will do well in math, reading, and writing.
Can we really afford to cut out art classes?
Happy Reading, and