THE ART IN LEARNING?

While many parents can see view art as a hobby for children, it can be very essential to a child’s early education. Art helps support free play in children, allowing them unrestricted exploration and experimentation that are both fun and educational. Creative Childcare discusses the benefits of incorporating art in creative childcare in Australia.

MOTOR SKILLS (Gross & Fine) & CO-ORDINATION:

Using scissors, cutting or tearing paper, holding a paintbrush and colouring with pencils, texta’s and crayons can all assist with the develop of your child’s fine motor skills. Through the use of art, your child is able to achieve different developmental milestones in a comfortable environment. Learning how to draw with the proper pencil grip at a young age will be beneficial to them later on in life when they are learning to write.

When children are engaging in arts and crafts, they tend to put both hands into their task and learn how to use certain objects, such as paint brushes, scissors, crayons and pencils to complete what they’re trying to achieve. Children will learn how to hold and manipulate objects and experiment with new ways to use these art and craft items.

Getting crafty can involve many actions that help improve their fine motor skills greatly including picking things up, ripping, sprinkling, dabbing, wiping, tying, pressing, holding, cutting, writing and painting. All of these movements strengthen their fingers and improves their dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

LITERACY & NUMERACY:

Art and crafts can assist with your child’s literacy and numeracy in a wide variety of ways. When children engage in arts and crafts, they get to also engage in conversation, what are they making, what are they using, how are they using the items, etc. Children also learn new vocabulary skills, when they are given instructions and directions, eg “we hold scissors this way”, “if we mix these two paints, we can create this new colour”.

Art & craft activities encourage children to learn about the different shapes, colours and textures. Arts can also be a starting point in their numeracy development. This can be seen when we open them up to basic counting and measuring in a fun and creative way, eg “how many different colours have we used for this painting”.

CREATIVITY & SELF ESTEEM:

Getting involved in crafts from an early age, allows children the opportunity to express all of their idea’s and imagination. These opportunities expose children to a wide array of materials, textures, techniques and methods for them to experiment with – creating their artworks brings a sense of accomplishment and pride – boosting their self esteem and confidence! Art also allows for children to express themselves emotionally! Art and creativity can say things that children may not yet have words for.

PROBLEM SOLVING & FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS:

Arts and Crafts it’s a great way to let your child discover what they are capable of when it comes to problem solving – and following instructions to achieve the certain outcome that they want in regards to their masterpiece. Children just need a range of creative tools and materials and then creative freedom. If they ask for help, you can definitely assist them, otherwise, leave them to their own devices, and you may be pleasantly surprised to see what they can figure out and create on their own.

Linking the Early Years Framework:

1.3 – Children develop knowledgeable and confident self – identities.

2.2 – Children respond to diversity with respect.

3.1 – Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.

4.1 – Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, co‐operation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.

5.4 – Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work.

“In children, creativity develops from their experiences with the process, rather than concern for the finished product. Creativity is not to be confused with talent, skill, or intelligence. Creativity is not about doing something better than others, it is about thinking, exploring, discovering, and imagining.”

– Mary Ann Kohl

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