Parenting Vivian | 22 Mar 2010 10:42 am

Teaching Art Brings Benefits For A Lifetime

Art and art education present certain benefits to children that, while hard to quantify or gauge, offer rich means of broadening their experiences and help to shape their perspectives on a wealth of subjects. Parents looking to introduce their children to such benefits have a variety of choices to make and a wealth of options to choose from as they make their decisions.

Art is food for the mind and spirit

It’s often been remarked that, “art feeds the soul,” a succinct way of saying that arts and art education can often act as both comfort and nourishment to the psyche. For children, learning about the arts helps develop their imaginations and encourages their ability to think creatively. These benefits spread to other areas of the child’s mind, reflecting in greater problem solving and reading comprehension skills as well as better analytical thought processes.

But besides the growth of educational skills, art also helps children interpret events around them by seeing the works of others as attempts to reach a similar goal. And for children learning to make art themselves, the satisfaction inherent in creating something original gives a powerful boost to their self-confidence.

Helping children create their own art.

Many parents fail to understand that helping their children nurture their creative impulses isn’t normally expensive or time-consuming. In fact, children need only the barest of supplies and materials to start creating. A trip to a local art store should supply all the pencils, drawing paper, or sculpting clay needed to get the child on their way.

For a more formal approach, many colleges and universities sometimes offer child art classes in a more academic atmosphere, letting the children learn about art in a student-teacher setting. The instructors are usually artists themselves, and can offer expert guidance that parents possibly cannot. Fees for such courses vary, and unfortunately there’s no guarantee that attendance will necessarily reveal an undiscovered talent – though that’s also frequently the case.

How to help children discover the act of creating.

Another popular misconception is that children need an all-too-elusive talent to truly enjoy the act of creating. While that may become so in later years as the creative approach becomes more disciplined, at a young age talent is not all-important. Instead, it’s enough that children are familiar with the emotional rewards of creating (as well as experiencing) art. This is really “art for art’s sake” and the sake of the child’s happiness.

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