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5 BENEFITS OF ART IN PRESCHOOL
Sometimes art is the dreaded “messy center.” It’s the center that we close first at the end of the day to avoid a last-minute catastrophic spill or a confetti mess after little Susie decided to work on her scissor skills five minutes before closing. However, nothing beats the look of joy on a child’s face as they show you what they created.
Not only is art fun but it is important to a child’s development. It helps with attention span and fine motor skills, too! Let’s get into exactly how children benefit from the art center.
- Social Skill Development: Surprisingly enough, social development is one of the benefits of art. The ability to focus is a tough thing to learn during the early years. When a child sits at a table to begin a project, they might run into things that they have to fix, encouraging them to work on problem-solving skills (like how to turn an “a” into a “d” without starting over, we’ve all been there).
- Process-Focused Art vs. Product-Focused Art: To encourage the development of the skills mentioned above, it is best to aim for process-focused art projects. This is the best way to let the children explore their own creative outlets rather than following an example or template that you provided. Product-Focused Art is great for learning to follow directions and how to aim for a certain goal but is not best for a classroom where it is believed that learning through play is best. The process is what matters.
- Outlet for Emotion: There are many outlets for children to use to release some extra tension or emotions. You might have asked them to count to 5, take a deep breath, or used a cozy corner with a stuffed animal and a book. Offering them some art supplies and the ability to do whatever they want (within reason of course) is a great way to allow them to constructively express themselves.
- Fine Motor Skill Development: There are so many art activities that require children to use their fine motor skills. This includes peeling stickers, cutting, and grasping markers, crayons and glue sticks. These activities provide a foundation for critical life skills like typing, writing, eating, getting dressed and possibly even playing an instrument..
- Critical Thinking: Planning what the child is going to create teaches them the beginning steps of the creative process. They will have to think about what they want to create, how they will create it, and what they need to create. For example, this includes things like considering that crayons don’t erase but regular pencils don’t have any color at all.
Even though it may be the messiest center in the room, it might have the most potential to teach children. Encouraging them to be creative really plays a part in brightening their future. Aside from the mess and the patience required to set up and clean up, nothing is better than seeing their face light us as they show you their newest masterpiece.