Not Just Fun and Games: Why Your Child Should Take That Extracurricular Art Class

Art offers many advantages to your child’s development, and they need not be budding Picassos to reap its benefits

Everyone has a memory of art class, be it as an outlet for creative expression or simply a nice break from tedious classes. These days visual arts are a core part of any school’s curriculum, but what about outside the classroom? 

Is there any merit to your child pursuing visual arts in their free time?

A parent’s first instinct might be to place greater focus on studies and physical activity. After all, they have visible benefits, while art tends to be seen as more of a hobby to be pursued if the child has a knack for it. But the truth is, that visual arts are a vital part of your child’s development as both a student and a human being. 

A Fun Way to Train the Brain

Kids are naturally curious and love to explore the world around them — visual arts are the perfect platform to do so. Aside from helping them develop a healthy imagination, arts offer a great way for kids to better conceptualize the world around them. Children exposed to art at a young age quickly develop a strong grasp on concepts like shapes, pattern recognition, and cause and effect. For example, they quickly understand that mixing two colours will create a third. 

Older children also benefit from this activity. Skills such as drawing and painting require the real-world application of mathematics to grasp concepts like proportion and perspective. Art is also a great way to encourage out of the box thinking. A child making a model or learning to draw will have to learn to think creatively and find unique solutions in real-time to overcome hurdles in their process.

Hands-on Experience

Every form of visual art, from drawing to sculpting, to embroidery, requires your child to use their hands. The benefit of this is easy to see in younger children in whom you will soon witness a visible improvement in fine motor skills. 

The same is a little harder to see in older children since they’re usually sure of their movements, but we will still see a marked improvement in dexterity. Crafts that require precision, such as sewing or felting, can also help build conscientiousness and attention to detail in your child that can be applied to everything from cleaning their room to double-checking their math homework.

A Canvas for Expression

Arts allow children to indulge in their imagination. They become explorers, learning how best to express themselves and share how they view the works around them. 

The process of creation allows kids to work through complicated feelings and emotions and express these feelings in a healthy way that fits them. Making and sharing art can also help children build social connections, showing off their unique understanding of the world while building empathy and compassion for others’ viewpoints. 

This holds true for extra-curricular art classes where your child can meet peers outside of the school context, exposing them to wider perspectives and new ways of expression.

Takeaways

  • Art provides a framework for learning made up of rules that were meant to be tested, bent, and broken
  • It inculcates flexibility and creative problem solving within your child and gives them a safe place to experiment and push boundaries 
  • Art can provide an outlet for stress-relief and self-expression for a child weighed down by the expectations and responsibilities of school life while still giving them the skills they need to paint the world the way they see it

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