By Bernie Byrne
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” – Albert Einstein
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton
“Art is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.” – Quentin Blake
These quotes highlight the significant role art plays in nurturing children’s creativity, imagination, self-expression, and overall development.
Art plays an important role in the development and wellbeing of children, offering many benefits in their overall development. Encouraging art and creativity in children is a wonderful way to help them develop problem-solving skills, innovation, and self-expression.
Cognitive Development: Engaging in art activities fosters skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and decision making. It encourages children to explore, experiment and make choices which stimulates their brain development. Studies have shown that children involved in arts education tend to perform better academically.
Creativity and Imagination: Art allow children to express themselves freely and can spark the imagination by allowing them to explore different materials, colours shapes and textures nurturing innovative thinking and original ideas.
Sensory stimulation: Engaging with various art materials provides sensory experience that stimulate children’s senses, touch, sight, smell and sometimes even taste – Exploring with these materials can be calming and therapeutic for children, helping them relax, reduce stress and manage emotions.
Emotional Development: Through art, children learn to express their feelings and emotions, it provides an outlet for self-expression, helping them understand and communicate their emotions effectively. Creating art can help boost their self-esteem and confidence, when they complete a piece of art it gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Social skills: Art often involves collaboration and sharing, providing opportunities for children to work together, share materials and exchange ideas. They foster teamwork, cooperation and social interaction. Creative activities encourage verbal communication and vocabulary development as children discuss their artwork, describe colours shapes and share their thoughts and feelings about their creations.
Cultural Awareness and Appreciation: Exploring differing art forms exposes children to diverse cultures, traditions and promoting cultural awareness and appreciation from an early age.
Fine Motor Skills: Art involves using various tools and materials, which help in the development of fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Activities like, colouring, cutting, drawing, painting and sculpting require precise movements enhancing control over muscles and dexterity.
Art in early childhood is more than just creating something visually appealing – it’s a holistic tool that supports a child’s overall development from cognitive and emotional growth to social and motor skills enhancement.
But remember, every child is unique, and what sparks creativity in one might not work for another. Be patient and observant, allowing the child to explore their interests and creativity at their own pace.
We are looking forward to running the Childminding Ireland Art Competition in early 2024. It’s a really lovely way to celebrate the creativity of children and childminders.
Ideas for Arts & Crafts