Advantages of Art for Kids – Start Early!
Art has always been one of my favourite hobbies. Hence, as a parent, I wanted to ensure that my daughter, Karma, gets an exposure to this creative outlet from a very young age. Let me specify, it’s less about being good at it, but more about the immense benefits that indulging in different forms of art can have, on our kids.
Karma started colouring at a very young age. She could hold crayons properly before she could walk. When it comes to colours, she has various sets of Camlin crayons, as they are safe and non-toxic. If you’re a parent, then you definitely know Camlin and probably have bought their products for your child.
While starting off, it’s not important if your child is colouring inside the lines or just scribbling randomly. It’s the process that aids all kinds of mental and physical development. Here’s why art should be a part of every child’s life, early on.
Advantages of Art for Kids
1. Art Instills Creativity
According to the International Child Art Foundation, “Research indicates that a child who is exposed to the arts acquires a special ability to think creatively, be original, discover, innovate, and create intellectual property – key attributes for individual success and social prosperity in the twenty-first century.” The ability to think out of the box and come up with fresh ideas is led by a creative mindset. I will specify again – Art is not about turning into master artist but simply being involved in a process that activates the creative thinking areas of our brain.
2. Art Builds Fine Motor Skills
I personally feel Karma’s introduction to simply scribbling with Camlin plastic crayons at an early age has directly led to her abilities to not just holding a pen or pencil properly at a young age but also influenced other motor skills that reflect in the way she builds her Lego models, her skating and dance classes, carving shapes out of clay or solving puzzles. It provides a much needed developmental exercise for those little fingers and hands.
3. Scribble Today, Write Tomorrow
I genuinely believe we should not push our kids to achieve milestones before they are ready for it and even then, every kid grows at their own pace. However, as parents, we can provide various tools that make the process easier for our kids. Scribbling is a precursor to writing. As babies and young toddlers scribble back and forth repeatedly, it enables them to control their grip on the crayons and manage its movements better over time. This lays the foundation for pre-writing and writing as they grow older.
4. Art Engages the Senses
There was a paint based activity I did using Camel poster colours when Karma was just 9-10 months old. Dot a canvas with blobs of paint using bright colours that will appeal to your child and let your baby spread, mix and mess the pain around on the canvas. If you want to make it non messy, wrap cling film all around the canvas. A simple paint based free play activity like this will engage your child’s sense of sight, touch, smell and sound. The whole process of mixing colours and watching it manifest on the canvas leads to a creative stimulation for your baby. I recommend non-toxic paints like Camlin since babies have sensitive skin.
5. Problem Solving & Scientific Thinking
Be it free play drawing and painting or structured art, it enables evaluation and thought. As kids start to fill a paper or canvas, it makes them think about their colour choices, learn from mistakes, envision a final image and work towards it. It also teaches them how to deal with uncertainty and unplanned results and in the process, makes them more flexible.
Since Karma turned 3, she’s been mixing colours. It’s something she learned at school and even at home, she practices how to mix 2 or 3 colours to make a new colour or get the shade of colour that she wants. That’s art and science! It’s experimentation, problem solving and science all rolled into one simple artistic process.
6. Art Leads to Social Development
As kids get better at their artistic skills, they reflect their environment, their world and their imagination through art. It can be an amazingly healthy and safe outlet for them to share their emotions. It also acts as a great bonding exercise for us as a family when we draw together and between her friends too. During all her play dates, Karma and her friends pretty much always end up spending sometime drawing and painting. For her 2nd birthday, we had a long kids table laid out with colouring sheets and Camlin crayons in little jars for kids to sit and colour. In my mason jar return gifts posts, you will find an idea for art jars that make perfect return gifts for kids.
I really hope the various advantages of art for kids will encourage you to start your creative journey with your kids from an early age. Many schools have art as a part of their curriculum versus just a hobby project. Art makes learning fun and there are plenty of supplies in the market to suit each age group. We use Camlin often as they’re a well established brand, have all kinds of art products and they are safe!
I know many parents have concerns over the mess kids create with crayons, paints and sketch pens. Let them! 🙂 Karma paints over her Lego and toys and it took me a while but I realised, it’s how she experiments, fixes and creates what she imagined. Make your kids part of the clean up process as well. Here’s another tip – When Karma started drawing on walls, we told her she’s only allowed to do it on the walls in her room and no other walls in the house. It’s her room after all and she has a right to create a space where she thrives. I promise you, a little letting go from your side will unleash endless creative thinking from your kids. They will surprise you!
This post is in collaboration with Camlin as a part of their initiative to spread awareness on the advantages of art for kids and making learning fun. However, the views, real life references and opinions shared are my own. I will never recommend anything to my readers that I won’t do or use for myself or my family.