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Education Matters

How Children Benefit From the Arts

March 1st, 2017

By Karli Kendall

At the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery (MAG) we are always looking to incorporate art into what we offer families in Central Alberta.  Not only are the arts fun and interesting, but being part of the arts has many benefits to children’s development from motor skills development, language development, to visual learning and inventiveness! By exposing your children to art you are helping them to develop mentally, socially, and emotionally. Some benefits of exposing children to art:

  • Your child learns to think creatively, with an open mind
    • Your child learns to observe and describe, analyze and interpret
    • Your child discovers that there is more than one right answer, multiple points of view
    • Arts build confidence.  Because there is not just one right way to make art, every child can feel pride in his or her original artistic creations.

6 Ways to Inspire Creativity

From Leslie Bushara, Deputy Director for Education at the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

  1. Prepare for a mess. Set up an art space where your kid can be free to experiment (and get messy!), advises Bushara. Throw a drop cloth or a newspaper on top of your kitchen table or in the garage. If weather permits, let kids paint outside.

  2. Avoid giving direction. Don't tell your kid what to make or how to make it. Instead of saying, "Paint a rainbow," encourage her to "experiment with mixing colors using different types of brushes and paper," suggests Bushara.

  3. Speak specifically about art. When talking to your child about his artwork, try to be precise in your comments. For instance, instead of giving a generic compliment, Bushara recommends saying, "I see you used a lot of purple. Why did you choose that color?"

  4. Explore your child's process. Often the best way to encourage conversation about your child's art is simply to say, "Tell me about what you made," or ask, "Did you have fun making it?"

  5. Don't draw with your child. When parents draw something representational while a younger child is sketching, it can frustrate him, warns Bushara. "It's better to be near him and let him know that you're interested and supportive of his art-making," she says.

  6. Let it be. When a child finishes a piece, don't suggest additions or changes, advises Bushara. It's important for a child to feel that what she's created is enough -- even if it's just a dot on the page.

Credit: 6 ways to Inspire Creativity taken from article by Paula Bernstein, Parents Magazine

Explore your creativity with us! The MAG offers programs for children of all ages to come and explore their creativity from miniMAG parent and tot drop-in art-making on Wednesdays 9:30 – 11am, to MAGnificent Saturdays drop-in family art-making, Saturdays from 1 – 4pm, as well as day camps, summer camps, and more! For more information on these or any of other great programs check out our website call us 403.309.8405, or visit us at 4525 47A Ave., Red Deer, AB.

Tags: art, event, kids

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