For teens and adults, art has been used as a creative outlet to express emotions and thoughts that are difficult to talk about. Sometimes, people would rather write letters, sing, dance, draw or create paintings when they’re hesitant to say what they feel and think. This is why art is also widely used in psychotherapy, helping patients with mental or emotional health issues recover through art-making.
Art is also powerful learning tool that parents and teachers can use in childhood education and development. When children are engaged in art at a young age, they will be able to develop skills that they can use as they grow older.
Here are some skills that children can develop through art.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motors skills, which involve muscle movement in the hands and wrists, may be developed through art-making. These skills are important in performing self-care tasks like buttoning one’s shirt, opening bags, self-feeding, and brushing teeth. Fine motor skills are also essential in developing writing skills.
Coloring and drawing are just some activities that can help children improve their fine motor skills. Young children will be able to improve finger and hand strength by holding colored markers while being guided to blend colors or create doodles. Arts and crafts activities that involve cutting, folding, and pasting also help in developing object manipulation skills and determining hand dominance.
Because a young child’s fine and gross motors skills are still developing, they may still need help when asked to draw and paint an image. They will often ask for guidance when they find it difficult to perform a certain task. When children are able to create something tangible, like a scrapbook, painting, or greeting card, they can bring it home and talk about it. Art also enables children to focus not only on themselves but on others as well. When children work on a group project, they learn to share and interact with others. Such instances encourage communication, teamwork, and social contact which are important social skills to learn.
When children practice art, they are able to improve cognitive skills. They develop critical thinking skills when they make a mental picture of what they plan to create. Art also allows children to learn through experimentation. For example, if they mix the primary colors like red and yellow, they will come up with the color orange. Or, if they push harder when coloring a picture, the color will become darker.
Language and Emotional Development
Art enables children to learn new words, colors, shapes and sizes, hence expanding their vocabulary. Art is also a therapeutic way for children to express their frustrations and understand their emotions better. Art-making provides a way for children to communicate, most especially younger kids who are still developing their speech and language skills.
Being able to create something on their own and share it with others provides a feeling of accomplishment. As children continue to practice creating art and see the progress they’re making, they are able to develop self-confidence.
Art-making activities are fun and engaging. While practicing art, children can have an enjoyable and stress-free experience while learning new skills.