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Education Matters

How the Arts Can Help Kids Start the Year off Right

September 1st, 2016

By Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

As September rolls around, kids are heading back to school.  This time of year is always exciting for kids and parents….new classroom, new teacher, maybe even new classmates.  Parents are always wondering how they can help their child be as successful as possible this school year.  There are so many things that kids learn in school that help build their brain.  Some of those things are hard to recreate at home; however, you don’t need to re-create them.  There are a lot of things families can do together that create skills and patterns in kids that will pay off in the classroom.  A great example of this is reading.  There are numerous studies that discuss all the benefits of reading to the brain.  When kids are encouraged to read it helps them in every subject.  However, did you know that the arts also have benefits to the brain that can assist kids in every aspect of the classroom?  Here are just a few of the ways that participation in the arts can help kids be more successful in school.

  1.   Critical and Creative Thinking

Being a good critical and creative thinker allows kids to think outside the box.  This is a skill that will help kids be able to problem solve both in the classroom and outside.  As kids graduate, this also becomes a highly desirable skill for employment.  The arts, visual, music, drama, and dance, are all designed for kids to explore this part of their brain and skills.  In order to create a piece of art, any form of art, you need to be able to see the whole picture and figure out a path to get to that final picture.  Along the way, there will be bumps in the road and things that don’t go as planned and kids will need to come up with a way to solve it.

  1.   Academic Skills

All areas of art benefit academic learning.  Specifically, listening to and creating music is closely related to mathematics.  The patterns, the beats, and so on in music are similar to the intervals, patterns and counting in math.  In addition, listening to music activates certain areas of the brain that are difficult to activate otherwise.  This creates neural connections that can be of great assistance in all areas of learning.

  1.   Visualization

The visual arts specifically help kids to work on their ability to see a whole picture.  This ability assists kids in the process of cooperative group work, taking in information in visual formats (posters, presentations, etc.) and seeing the end goal of a project.  Athletes commonly do this when preparing for a competition by visualizing the end goal and a win for themselves or the team.  This ability to visualize is beneficial in all areas, not just sports.

All forms of art and art expression create opportunities for kids to expand their skill set.  These skills are what allow them to take in information and solve any problem that comes their way.  Everything from critical and creative thinking, to social skills, to listening can be improved by the arts.  An added benefit of participation in the arts is that not only is it beneficial to brain development but it also happens to be a whole lot of fun!

Fall Programs at the MAG

Visit for a full list of programs and activities.


miniMAG gives the youngest artists in our community a chance to come and create a new piece of art every week. All of our projects are geared towards kids under 5 and are easily adapted to the different skills and abilities of all kids. We start September 7, 2016.

  • Wednesday mornings from 9:30 – 11 am
  • Cost to create your own piece of art is $2/child for those with family memberships and $3/child for those without a family membership.

This program runs from September to June. Thank you to Red Deer Kinsmen Club for their generous support of miniMAG!

MAGnificent Saturdays

Drop in family art making! Share time with your family learning, creating and exploring new materials! The best part….your completed masterpieces are yours to take home and enjoy!

MAGnificent Saturdays is our innovative program, led by artists, that connects our exhibits with an art making activity. Participants of any age are welcome! We supply the materials, the studio, and the artist, you supply the imagination.

Cost: $5 per person/$10 for family (2 adults and all their children under 18 in the same household)

Frequent participant? All MAGnificent Saturdays drop-ins are included in a MAG Annual family membership for $30/yr or grandparent membership $25/yr.


Tags: education

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