Children naturally love art – painting, drawing, making music, dancing, and the theater.
The human brain consists of two parts, the left and the right hemisphere. The left brain is used in logical thinking and analytical processes. This is typically what is trained during school work that consists of math, reading, and science. The right brain is used in emotional perception, intuition, and creativity and is mainly involved in creative endeavors such as making art.
For the brain to be efficient, the two hemispheres must work in tandem. By stimulating and exercising the right hemisphere of the brain, the arts strengthen the connection between the hemispheres. In order to achieve the full potential of the mind, children should be exposed to the arts as their cognitive skills mature.
Aside from the physiological effects, the New York Center for Arts Education also lists other benefits of exposing children to art:
- Children learn to think creatively, with an open mind.
- Children learn to observe and describe, analyze and interpret.
- Children learn to express feelings, with or without words.
- Children practice problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, dance, music, theater and art-making skills, language, and vocabulary of the arts.
- Children discover there is more than one right answer, multiple points of view.
- School can be fun – playing can be learning.
- Children learn to collaborate with others.
- Arts introduce children to cultures from around the world.
- Children can blossom and excel in the arts. Even with physical, emotional or learning challenges, individuals can experience success in the arts.
- Arts build confidence. Because there is not just one right way to make art, every child can feel pride in her/his original artistic creations.
- Arts build community. Schools with a variety of differences can celebrate the arts as one community.
The following are tips to make the arts a part of your child’s development:
- Always make arts and crafts supply available and accessible.
- Celebrate your child’s artwork – Hang their drawings on the wall or save it in a folder. This way, your child feels that her creation is important.
- Read books – Ask the librarian at your school or public library to suggest books about artists and the arts.
- Notice the arts all around you – Take your family to museums, concerts, or theater. Notice the art in the parks and open spaces. Start a conversation about what you see.
- Enjoy the arts at home – Share your artistic skills and interests with your child. Find out what they love about the art.
- If your child shows great interest, enroll her in arts class.
- If possible, remind your child’s school authorities about the importance of art in her education.