Summer is over, which means our children are heading back to school to learn a whole host of subjects including maths, history, English and art. While many parents (other than those here at Art2Arts!) may not see the importance of their children engaging in their art lessons, focussing more attention on the typically academic subjects, we take a moment to discuss the real impact that teaching creativity in the classroom can have on our little ones…
It is important for our children to develop social skills, in order for them to remain happy and to integrate well into society as they grow up. A 2015 review by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) found evidence that suggested arts can help to develop social and emotional skills such as ‘helping, caring and sharing activities’. The report also stated that these skills can develop at ‘virtually any stage of life’, highlighting the benefits of art classes throughout the curriculum and across the year groups.
A tool to learn other subjects
Not only should art be taught as in individual subject, but the naturally engaging nature of creativity and making things means that art can be used as a tool to help children understand tricky, or less engaging subjects better. By encouraging children to use the right side of their brain (responsible for creativity and the arts) to learn about the left side of the brain subjects (responsible for logic), students learn creative problem solving and risk taking.
Understanding the world and regulating emotions
Taking the time to expose children to art and creative activities can help to regulate emotions, due to the stress relieving benefits it can have. In an issue of Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, research showed that ‘cortisol’ the stress hormone was dramatically reduced when creating art. As well as being a fun lesson, allowing children to interact with each other and to experiment, that hour of learning once or twice a week could also be an important hour of therapy.
It comes naturally
Children are born naturally inquisitive, discovering the world around them, but many conventional subjects and ways of learning can soon ‘teach it out of them’. Encouraging your child to take art lessons seriously can help to ensure that their creative nature remains active. In doing this, children will remain open minded, which can continue to enhance the rest of their curriculum, and could lead to better overall educational success.
Does your child get taught art at school? If not, do you teach your children arts and creative activities at home? What do you think the benefits are? We’d love to know!