Recently, many schools have experienced a shift from art-based courses to more of a common core-based focus like reading and math. Despite the shift in focus, arts still plays a strong role in the development of early childhood well into the high school years. While some consider arts education more of a luxury than anything, the ability to allow a child to revel in his or her creativity is essential to early childhood development. Lake Forrest Prep, a premiere Orlando private school, wants to share some of the core developmental benefits of art, so that parents and curriculum advisors can both understand its importance.
- Improvement of Motor Skills. The creation of art greatly benefits the development of early motor skills, such as holding a paintbrush or coloring with a crayon. The National Institute of Health reports that developmental milestones at age 3 should include the ability to draw a circle or use safety scissors without a cause for concern. The developmental process improves by age 4 with the expectation that the child can draw a square or cut straight lines using scissors.
- Development of Language. The ability to create art lends to the ability to understand and create colors, shapes, and actions. For example, a 12-month old should have the ability to identify a crumbled up piece of paper as a ball, while elementary-aged children should have the ability to use descriptive words to describe their own creations or discuss their feelings as they apply to other people’s creations.
- Ability to Make Decisions. The Americans for the Arts organization reports that extremely young children learn problem-solving and critical thinking skills through their education in the arts. The ability to trust his or her own instinct when it comes to creating something can help instill confidence and can carry over into other parts of life as well.
- Ability to Be Culturally Aware. Living in an ever-increasingly diverse society can be lost on a child if not presented in a proper light. Teaching children the ability to recognize the intention behind art can provide them with the understanding of the concept of someone else’s reality as it pertains to something that can be experienced by others. “If a child is playing with a toy that suggests a racist or sexist meaning, part of that meaning develops because of the aesthetics of the toy—the color, shape, texture of the hair,” says Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University.
At Lake Forrest Prep, we definitely encourage art education from an early age, and we offer a diverse curriculum that lends well to early childhood education. If you’re interested in enrolling to our Orlando private school, contact us today at (407) 331-5144.