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Art is Good For Child Development at Every Stage

Art is Good For Child Development at Every Stage
JuLY 15TH, 2022
Girls doing crafts on a lawn
With a growing focus on math and science in school curriculums, some people consider art to be a luxury for a child's development. But art has many known positive effects on children, and at Hopscotch Girls we're big believers in the power of STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, art, and math)--especially for young girls.

Simple creative activities like coloring, and crafts can be the building blocks of a child’s healthy development. So if you’re asking the question “why is art good for kids?” read on to understand the ways in which art activities for kids can promote their social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Art in Early Childhood Development

In the early years of a child’s life, art is essential for development and learning. For example, preschools often prioritize scissor cutting during arts and crafts because it prepares kids for the dexterity needed for writing.

Art helps develop motor skills in young children.
Motor skills are important because they teach children how to eat with a utensil, or how to write – skills essential for children as they grow.

Art helps kids develop language skills.
Art can help children as young as 12 months old. Caregivers can perform simple activities like ripping paper or giving them paints to explore. This allows them to develop cognitive skills for language, narrating activities, and naming colors to help children learn their language in applicable ways.

Art helps kids develop visual and spatial awareness.
“Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it,” says Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University.

Now more than ever, kids have access to visual graphics, and whether or not we want them to, they are learning from it. Art allows kids to understand their surroundings better while developing other critical skills like motor skills and language.

Art in K-12 Education

As children age, art still remains a crucial part of their development and expression. Standardized testing has minimized access to the arts for school-aged children. Because standardized tests are easily measured, they often take priority over the arts.

But an overwhelming majority of caregivers and parents throughout the United States want art education in their schools. The Brookings Institute along with Kinder Institute's Houston Education Research Consortium recently conducted research based on access to the arts in school-aged children, and their findings present promising evidence for those in favor of the arts.

The report found that “exposure to arts education was linked to more empathy and engagement, better writing scores and fewer disciplinary problems.”

Art creates empathy in others.
The study found that children who had access to and were enrolled in art curriculums had higher compassion for others. This could suggest that art allows people to understand different origins, techniques, and expressions – allowing for more empathy and compassion in all aspects of their life.

Art helps build cultural competence.
Art can help build cultural competency in children. When kids have access to art from around the world, they gain a better insight and understanding from an emotional level–not just an intellectual or cognitive level.

This cultural awareness can build outside of the art room as well. By seeing more diversity and inclusion in the arts, kids can better understand the differences in others and have greater compassion for people who look and think differently from them.

So why is art good for kids?

Art is essential for allowing kids to develop early on and grow into adulthood. It helps them learn when they’re little and helps them grow into compassionate, caring, and empathetic adults.

More resources for caregivers

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