Why Art and Creativity Are Important for Kids

Why Art and Creativity Are Important for Kids

Why Art and Creativity Are Important for Kids

Crafts for Kids: The Importance of Art and Creativity for Kids

Creative play is a vital part of childhood and child development. Through creative and imaginative play children can grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically. Creative experiences help a child develop these skills and enable them to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Exposing children to creative opportunities contributes to, and furthers their development. 

Coming up with ways to play creatively doesn’t have to be stressful or take a lot of time. In fact, over-structuring is the opposite of creative play.

Creative Crafts Equals Positive Moods for Kids

If due to the pandemic your kids are always stuck at home, you’ll want to have an activity that is screen-free and will create precious moments as a family. 

It can be challenging to manage moody children. Fortunately, painting can help minimize tantrums and also provide quality time with the kids.

Painting is a way of bonding that is stress-relieving for kids. Through art they learn communication and how to express their thoughts and ideas. While enjoying your time together you are simultaneously teaching your kids essential life skills.

Kids are Naturally Creative

Playing is not a passive act. No child plays idly. When kids play, they think, connect, and create. By learning in school that a spider spins its web, kids think about those experiences, incorporate them into their play, and then create new connections. Play, in this aspect, is just as important as education. Play is education.

Kids Develop Life Skills through Art Activities

Art may seem like fun and games — and it is! — but you may not realize that your child is actually learning a lot through exploring the arts and doing art activities.  

Your children will gain useful life skills through art, so encourage them to get creative, and you will quickly see that your children are picking up these skills:

Communication Skills

 When a child draws a picture, paints a portrait, or hangs buttons from a wobbly mobile, that child is beginning to communicate visually. A child may draw to document an actual experience like playing in the park, release feelings of joy by painting swirling colors, or share an emotionally charged experience like the passing of a loved one through art. Art goes beyond verbal language to communicate feelings that might not otherwise be expressed.

Problem-Solving Skills

When children explore art concepts, they are testing possibilities and working through challenges, much like a scientist who experiments and finds solutions. Should I use a shorter piece of yarn to balance my mobile? This tape isn’t holding — what should I try instead? How did I make brown — I thought I made orange? 

Art allows children to make their own assessments, while also teaching them that a problem may have more than one answer. Instead of following specific rules or directions, the child’s brain becomes engaged in the discovery of “how” and “why.” 

Even while experimenting or learning how to handle art materials effectively, children are overcoming challenges and brainstorming new ways to handle unexpected problems.

Social & Emotional Skills

Art helps children come to terms with themselves and the control they have over their behaviors. Through art, they also practice sharing and taking turns, as well as appreciating one another’s efforts. Art fosters positive mental health by allowing a child to show individual uniqueness as well as success and accomplishment, which are all part of cultivating a positive sense of self.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills enable a child to do things like delicately turn the page of a book or fill in a sheet of paper with written words. Holding a paintbrush so that it will make the desired strokes, snipping paper with scissors into concrete shapes, drawing with a crayon, or squeezing glue from a bottle with control all help develop a child’s fine motor skills.

Self-Expression and Creativity 

Children express themselves through art on a fundamental level. Sometimes their artwork is the manifestation of that expression, but more often, the physical process of creating is the expression.

Creating art allows children to work through feelings and emotions, and showing off a finished piece of artwork helps a child express feelings in a new and meaningful way. Art also develops a child’s creativity. Rather than being told what to do, answers and directions come from the child. Art is an experience that requires free-thinking, experimentation, and analysis — which are all elements of creativity.

6 Ways to Inspire Creativity

Foster process-focused art with advice from Leslie Bushara, Deputy Director for Education at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

1. Prepare for a mess. Set up an art space where your kid can be free to experiment (and get messy!), advises Bushara. Throw a drop cloth or a newspaper on top of your kitchen table or in the garage. If weather permits, let kids paint outside.

2. Avoid giving direction. Don’t tell your kid what to make or how to make it. Instead of saying, “Paint a rainbow,” encourage her to “experiment with mixing colors using different types of brushes and paper,” suggests Bushara.

3. Speak specifically about art. When talking to your child about his artwork, try to be precise in your comments. For instance, instead of giving a generic compliment, Bushara recommends saying, “I see you used a lot of purple. Why did you choose that color?”

4. Explore your child’s process. Often the best way to encourage conversation about your child’s art is simply to say, “Tell me about what you made,” or ask, “Did you have fun making it?”.

5. Don’t draw with your child. When parents draw something representational while a younger child is sketching, it can frustrate them, warns Bushara. “It’s better to be near them and let them know that you’re interested and supportive of their art-making,” she says.

6. Let it be. When a child finishes a piece, don’t suggest additions or changes, advises Bushara. It’s important for a child to feel that what they’ve created is enough — even if it’s just a dot on the page.

Creative Activity - No Drawing Lessons Needed 

Go beyond doodling with markers or crayons with this Art Kit

Provide opportunities for your children to be creative.


Want your child to get the most out of making art? Encourage them to make art through Rock Painting Activities

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