Moms

4 Reasons to Keep Your Kids Engaged in Art This Summer

Art can be a learning experience disguised as a fun activity.
Art can be a learning experience disguised as a fun activity. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Now that school is out for the summer, you may be struggling to find fun activities to keep your kids engaged while simultaneously teaching them something new. Learning through art is a great way to encourage independent thinking while instilling confidence in your children through practicing new skills. Art doesn’t have to be expensive, super messy, or perfect. It can be a learning experience disguised as a fun activity!

The Benefits of Learning through Art

Young children can improve their fine motor skills by using child-safe scissors to cut through paper, or a paintbrush to pick up paint. These skills will help later on with things like handwriting. Hand-eye coordination benefits children of all ages (especially in sports) and can be developed through drawing, coloring, and gluing string to a piece of paper.

Mixing colors seems more like a science project where children can learn to make decisions, evaluate results, and problem solve to make adjustments. This is a great way to teach intentionality through thinking ahead of time about what colors are needed to make green or orange, and how to avoid ending up with giant globs of brown paint! Problem solving through an art project can also teach kids how to be flexible by substituting materials (for example, use staples or brass paper fasteners if you run out of glue).

Art Encourages Innovation, Individuality, and Resourcefulness

Art gives children the confidence to try something new and the determination to practice in order to develop a skill. Art supports the same creative thinking that is necessary to improve an existing product, or invent something completely new. With all of the problem solving and inventiveness that happens as a byproduct of creativity, it’s easy to see how art can benefit children in other areas academically.

Art also teaches children that their thoughts and creative expressions are valuable and meaningful. It teaches them to embrace their individuality and enjoy what makes them unique. Art can provide a temporary escape from reality and gives children in difficult situations an outlet to turn frustrations into something positive and beautiful. As an artist myself, I know what it is like to have my stress melt away when I am painting, or to see problems in a new and better light after completing a fun art project.

Art Is Unlimited and Accessible

There is no right or wrong way to create art and there are no requirements or limits. You can draw on inexpensive materials like empty cardboard boxes or scrap paper. Aluminum baking pans are perfect for keeping messier art projects contained when they include materials like paint, glitter, and glue. You can also incorporate nature into art by using sticks, leaves, and flowers as a paintbrush, or by painting designs on rocks or stones. Thanks to the internet and websites like Pinterest, the possibilities are practically endless!

Start Creating Art with Your Kids Today

You don’t have to be an artist or a teacher to try some simple projects with your children. Your kids won’t remember your skills (or lack thereof) as much as they will remember the fun they had creating something with you. Introduce some new art projects to your kids this summer and watch their creativity take off. Include some simple math (glue 5 buttons plus 3 feathers to a piece of cardboard) or decorate some handwritten words and you are on your way to a fun, multisensory and educational summer with art!

Robin Winningham is a mother and full-time artist in Charlotte, NC. She is also the owner of It’s an Art Party and specializes in mobile birthday art parties and art tutoring lessons for children ages 4 and up. Visit her website www.robinwinninghamart.com to see her artwork and check out www.itsanartparty.com to learn more about art parties and art lessons.

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