Why the Arts are so Important for Kids

By: Dareen Chehwan

There’s no doubt that art & craft, music, and role-play are fun for kids. Diving into those finger paints and making a beautiful picture to hang on the fridge is awesome. Acting in a play in the living room at home is exhilarating. But these kinds of Arts also help kids learn and grow in so many other ways.

Creativity.  Arts allows kids to express themselves. Being creative involves making choices and taking intitiative.  If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future.

Fine Motor Skills. Tasks like holding a paintbrush and scribbling with a crayon are an important element to developing a child’s hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Confidence. Getting up on a stage and singing, or making something new without any help from others gives kids a chance to step outside their comfort zone. As they improve and see their own progress and even achieve mastery, their self-confidence will continue to grow.

Perseverance. I learned that after much practice in Arts, all the hard work and perseverance pays off. For young people to develop this mindset will be incredibly valuable for them in later life when they need to develop new skills and work through difficult projects.

Focus. As young people persevere in Arts, through painting, singing or learning a part in a play, focus is imperative. And certainly, focus is vital for studying and working effectively in later life. 

Responsibility. Children who are busy in the Arts learn that they are accountable for their contributions to a collaborative art project. If they mess up. it’s important to take responsibility: tidy up and clean the space. Mistakes are a part of life, and learning to accept them, fix them, and move on will serve kids well as they grow older.

Visual Learning. Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through words and numbers. Art experiences show children how to interpret visual information, think critically and create meaning from shape and colour. It can open their eyes to the world.

Fun Arts you can do at home

Create Your Own Puzzle: Draw a picture on a carton or cardboard and color it. Ask an adult to cut it for you (or assist you to cut). Scramble the pieces and enjoy the play.

Make Superhero Capes and call it “SuperMe”:  Use a large bin bag, an old apron or cut an old T-shirt and decorate it with stickers, paint or your own drawings. Let the fun role-plays and imaginary play begin!

Self Portrait Plus: Trace your hands and feet and color it. On another large paper draw yourself and color it. Cut and paste your hands and feet (bare feet or wearing shoes)

Fun with Oobleck: Mix 1 cup of water into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of cornflour to it and stir well. You may add food coloring too. The result is Oobleck, a unique substance that can act as either liquid or solid depending on how you pour or squeeze it. For kids, a bowl of oobleck offers a session of fascinating inquiry and sensorial frolic.

Cardboard Creativity: Create an Artwork using cardboard boxes with glue, paint, markers or stickers. Build a city, cut out a car shape or a TV and extend it with lots of imaginary fun, role play and performances.