Between creative development and fine motor skills, there are plenty of reasons why art is important for kids.
Coloring books aren't just a great way to keep kids quiet on a long car trip. Art can play a big role in children's development, and it's a whole lot of fun! Here's some essential information on why art is important and how you can help kids get their creative juices flowing.
Developmental Benefits of Art for Children
Regularly making art can have a slew of benefits for children. For example, it may help promote creativity, stimulate the imagination, and boost language development by encouraging them to make connections with their environment. One particularly compelling reason to encourage more arts and crafts sessions is that art may help build critical fine motor skills and dexterity necessary for good handwriting by practicing controlled hand movements. Research even suggests that kids who regularly participate in arts activities (for at least three hours, three days each week for an entire year) are more likely to show higher academic achievement.
Additionally, making art can provide children with a new approach to learning. It encourages thoughtful observation of their surroundings which may help them develop stronger visual-spacial skills and strengthen their problem-solving abilities.
Put Together an Essential Art Supply Kit
A personal art supply kit can help any kid tap into their creative spirit. Luckily, Rite Aid has everything an amateur artist needs to get started. When looking for art supplies, be sure to keep the age of your little artist in mind. Younger kids can use crayons and Rose Art Finger Paints to complete coloring books or start their own masterpiece. Older kids will enjoy using Crayola Paint Brush Pens and Elmer's Washable Glitter Glue Pens to embellish flower pots or create holiday decorations. Round out supply kits with a set of colored pencils and a few paint brushes in different sizes.
Fun Projects You Can Try At Home
- Copy a Picasso. Share your favorite famous artwork with your child and talk about what makes it special. What colors did the artist use? What medium is it—oil paint, acrylic, oil pastel, pencil, or something else? What techniques were used? Help your child to make their own version of the artwork using the same type of colors, medium, and technique or using their own creative innovations.
- Make 3D sculpture art. For this project, you'll need pieces of cardboard, a versatile, non-toxic glue like Elmer's Washable School Glue, and some paint. Cut and fold the cardboard into shapes of different sizes, then help your child glue the pieces together to form a unique design. Once your little one has assembled their modern masterpiece, let them paint it in whatever colors or patterns they choose.
- Create marbled paper. Gather up some shaving foam, a cookie sheet, food coloring, eye droppers, a paint brush, a piece of cardboard, and some card stock or poster board. First, spray some shaving cream on the cookie sheet. Use a dropper to place drops of food coloring on top of the shaving cream, adding a few different colors. Use the end of the paint brush to swirl the "paint" around. Press a piece of card stock into the shaving cream. Lift off and then scrape off the excess shaving cream with the piece of cardboard to reveal the marbled paper. Once kids see how the process works, they can practice making their own designs.
- Craft stained glass. For this project, you'll need some old crayons, a safe pencil sharpener like the one made by Westcott, and wax paper. Pick out your child's old and broken crayons and help them use a pencil sharpener to create crayon shavings, keeping each color separate. They can then decorate a piece of wax paper with the crayon shavings. When the design is finished, cover it with another piece of wax paper and sandwich everything between two regular sheets of paper. Use an iron (adults only!) to melt the crayon shavings, creating a beautiful piece of stained glass art.
Children enjoy the opportunity to express themselves through art, and the best way to support their growing creativity is to make sure they have all the resources and supplies they need.
by Rebecca Desfosse
The Arts Ask for More, National Arts Education Public Awareness Campaign