Why is art so important for kids?
"Every child is an artist." – Picasso
Oh yes, art can be considered messy, disorganised and stressful for some of us! If your kids are anything like ours, paint is up their arms and in their hair before you have even finished laying out the paper. Despite the 400 coloured pom poms scattered across the floor, glue all over the table and glitter on EVERYTING, it’s undeniable that ART for kids is fun, valuable and so important for learning.
Art and craft activities develop fine motor skills, teach concentration and encourages critical thinking. But beyond this, Art is free of rules and it enables children to experience multiple perspectives as they make creative decisions. ‘Art is about the process not the product,’ I remember the impact this statement had on me when I first heard it. As parents we can easily find ourselves correcting, providing advice or trying to perfect ‘their’ creative interpretation. If you think about it, by doing this, we are somewhat discrediting the value of their imagination or interpretation. The value of a child’s creativity is not in the final product but in the time, effort and process that it took to get there. Children are naturally creative, inquisitive and willing to explore – art is the perfect canvas for allowing freedom and self expression.
“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” – Sydney Gurewitz ClemensChildren tell us that art is fun and enjoyable, it provides a sense of accomplishment and pride. “Look what I did Mum,” “I did it all by myself.” Teachers tell us its educational and critical for skill and academic development. Therapists tell us that art provides a safe zone and a way of expressing feelings. Artists tell us it’s an expressive gift to be shared and another way of keeping a diary.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
It may take some getting use to, but the benefits of Art for our children and their development, far outweigh the mess and mild anxiety that it may bring us for a short period of time. Children need art because despite what we may see, they see it differently and they always do it with meraki.
Meraki [may-rah-kee] (v.) to do something with soul, creativity, or love, to put something of yourself in your work.