The Benefits of Art and Art History in the Early Years
By Mrs. Helen K. Tchatchouang
Children love art! Whether they are getting messy with finger paints, drawing with sidewalk chalk, making a collage or colouring in their colouring book, there’s very few things that make children happier than creating their own art. At a preschool stage, art can have a direct influence on literacy, math and science. Art and art history allow early learners to establish an early foundation for art appreciation, visual analysis, imagination, and creativity that will extend well beyond their early years!
Children are naturally curious and they require a creative outlet to explore, observe, express and excel in trying to make sense of things around them. Art not only allows them to foster a strong connection with other parts of their body but helps them learn how to deal with external stressors from a very young age.
Art allows children to be original, discover new outlooks, be innovative and have intellectual properties. The ability to think ‘outside the box’ helps foster problem-solving skills, which is often crucial in their day to day lives. It opens opportunities for various avenues and allows them to work towards striking possibilities to cater to issues in the best possible way.
Children absorb new information relatively fast and with an open mind; the earlier the children are exposed to important things, the fewer chances are there of them being hostile to it. Art is an excellent source of imparting wisdom and making them socially and culturally aware without overwhelming them. Using art can help children become acquainted with different traditions and cultures, allowing them to understand and accept that the world is not homogenous and being different is normal. Art has also been proven to develop a sense of equality and justice in young minds, which has shown promising result in controlling anger management and preventing bullying.
Rising Artists is not only about children learning about Artists’ manifesto and art work. It’s about introducing them to this amazing, free and rather important sensation as well as work on their skills, developing their unique selves. From helping children develop an attention span to laying the foundation for important life skills, crafting is much more than just a quiet bit of fun for children.
The value of creative arts in early childhood education
Physical Development: Art offers limitless opportunities to develop fine motor skills. Tearing paper, using scissors, gluing materials onto surfaces and holding a paintbrush all require varying levels of hand-eye coordination and dexterity. Art-making also provides children with the coordination and control needed for other developmental tasks like tying shoes or printing their name.
When making art, a child is in control of their own learning. Active engagement, hands-on discovery, and material exploration utilizes nearly all of the senses as the child creates. Children forge new neural connections in their brains as they swirl paint on a canvas, squish clay between their fingers, or blend oil pastels.
Cognitive Development: Looking at art helps children develop observation and interpretation skills. They learn important concepts like symbolism and abstraction while also strengthening pattern recognition and visual-spatial skills to understand relationships between parts of a whole. Looking at and creating art nurtures a child’s early critical thinking and helps them learn to creatively solve problems. Children learn to be flexible thinkers who are able to adapt to new situations and find new ways of doing things.
Social-Emotional Learning Self-Esteem: Art helps increase a child’s self-esteem and confidence by allowing them to master certain skills. Creativity and autonomy flourish when they also embrace the concept that there is no “right way” to make art and that “art” is so much more than just colouring inside the lines!
Cultural Education and Perspective-Taking: Early childhood is a critical developmental period for children to learn about the world around them, and art is one of the shared languages of the world. It teaches the importance of different perspectives through other cultures’ histories, stories, values and traditions. Creating and talking about art facilitates the exchange of ideas and opinions, and helps children learn about the beauty of diversity while also strengthening their own sense of self.
Imagination, Self-Expression & Emotional Development: Art is an ideal opportunity for free play, the most important type of learning for young children! As they explore different subjects and experiment with materials, they express themselves and process their emotions in a safe space. Art functions as a crucial emotional outlet when children are nonverbal, frightened or overwhelmed.
In conclusion, we are constantly trying to provide our students with the best quality, education possible. Rising Artists is a movement to show the world the endless possibilities of learning through art as well as give children the possibility to belong, create and learn skills for life.
From helping to learn, to express to excel, art plays a crucial role in a child’s development and to ensure a well-rounded individual, there is no better assistive tool than Art.
Don’t forget to join our Rising Artists Exhibition on Saturday the 27th of May 2023 at Roots Preschool at 4pm.
Mrs. Helen K. Tchatchouang