Get messy and have fun! 10 reasons why art and creative play activities are so important for babies, toddlers and children……
Now I know that many parents are put off doing art and creative activities at home with their little ones because of the mess – which is why people love to come along to the ARTventurers classes where you can leave the mess behind for us to clear up! But here’s a little reminder of why it’s so important for us to get our little ones involved in creative activities from an early age :
- Children learn by using their senses and art is a great learning tool from a very early age – it’s a very sensory, hands on experience and young children learn best when learning involves their senses.
- Art stimulates both sides of the brain – this means all children can participate successfully and helps develop both sides of the brain and promote whole brain learning.
- Art promotes self expression and self esteem – children love to show off their creations and love to see their artwork proudly displayed on the fridge or grandmas wall! It’s also a way in which they can express their emotions and is a great stress reliever – playing with playdough and the squeezing, squidging, pressing and cutting that playdough play involves is great for frustrated toddlers and some studies have shown that it can actually help with toddler biting problems!
- Art and craft activities develop hand-eye coordination – holding a paintbrush, cutting with scissors, modelling with playdough…all help to practice and improve these skills
- Art helps to develop creative thinking and problem solving abilities – from what colour paint to use to what size cut to make in the paper and how they are going to make their imagined creation spring into reality.
- Art and craft activities aid concentration – because they are enjoying the activity they are willing to spend longer on it and this helps improve concentration skills over time
- Studies show that children who participate in art activities read better and get higher grades in maths and science – creative activities give children a head start in basic maths skills and geometry and even basic science…..think colour mixing, mosaic patterns and bubble painting!
- Art encourages children to think more about their environment – the colours around them, exploring different materials and tools and encouraging them to look around them.
- Art is a great social activity for all ages – encouraging friendships, group work and strengthening relationships with friends and family.
- Art and craft is rewarding and fun!
Above all else, the important thing is to give your child the space and time to be creative and let them take the lead. Keep a box full of bits and pieces on hand (our next blog will be all about putting together a Magic Craft Box which is great to whip out on rainy days!) – and try not to stress about the mess. If the sun is shining get outside and take the creativity into the garden! Creative activities are not just airy-fairy feel-good things – they help your child develop intellectually, physically and socially. So get out the paint, glitter and glue and let’s get busy!