Some people might think that art classes are just about painting, drawing, or crafting, but they are so much more than just a form of expression. Now, if you are a parent, you probably already know how an art program can shape your child’s development and improve their physical and social skills. But did you know that art can even help them get better grades?
Here are 7 reasons why kids taking art classes do better in school.
How art classes can impact children’s development
#1 Art classes encourage the development of children’s fine motor skills
It’s not unusual for young kids to have trouble with fine motor skills, which are valuable for activities such as writing, eating, cutting, tying shoes, and more. Art classes are a great way to improve these, as the children’s hands and fingers get used to the small movements involved in making crafts.
For example, kids learn how to use scissors, glue, crayons, and other materials used in art projects. Teachers show kids how to more effectively use a paint brush or pencil. This can then lead to improvement in handwriting skills, as well as improvements in other areas of academic performance.
#2 Art classes offer children a chance to be imaginative and creative
Art classes teach children about lines, shapes, colours, textures, sounds, movement, and space. After finishing a project, they can feel a sense of accomplishment, take pride in what they have created, and even talk about their experience of making it with other children, families and friends. This is great for enhancing their self-image.
Through art classes, children are able to think about the world in unique ways, which helps them develop creative solutions to problems inside and outside of their usual surroundings. Because of this, art students are more likely to get better grades in school than those who do not have that kind of exposure. Exploring their imagination to create something new is an excellent way for them to develop into creative thinkers.
#3 Art classes can help combat shyness or insecurity in some young children
Presented with opportunities to explore purposeful work, children learn how to believe in their abilities and take that confidence into other areas of life. Art classes create a space for children to take risks and learn about themselves, about others, about the world around them.
Children learning the arts are able to express themselves freely and also develop other strengths. Art classes allow them to be around their peers, have fun, and make mistakes in a safe environment. Since many projects require collaboration, students learn for the first time how to work together as part of a team and acquire abilities in critical thinking and problem solving.
#4 Art classes help children express their feelings when they have difficulty verbalising them
Not entirely convinced about how much art classes can impact children’s development? But maybe you’ve read about art therapy. Many adults that have attended art therapy sessions will attest to their benefit. They can help kids, too, especially during challenging times like throughout the pandemic.
Sometimes, children, especially the very young ones, can have difficulty expressing themselves verbally. Maybe they are shy or don’t like talking about how they feel. Or it could be that they do not yet have the words to convey strong emotions, because they are still learning language skills.
Art can have an overall calming effect that allows them to let out their sentiments in a safe setting, become less frustrated, reduce stress, and better able to cope with life’s challenges – all while expressing themselves, not through words, but through creating something beautiful.
#5 Art classes are an opportunity for social interaction
Art classes are an important venue for social interaction and increased communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal. They can be a great way for kids to socialise in a safe environment, with both other children as well as adults other than their parents, teachers and coaches.
Is your child having trouble making friends at school? Art class is a great way for them to meet new people and make new friends. Knowing they have peers out there who share their interests can make them feel more confident. This can be beneficial to older kids, as well.
In art class, students routinely communicate with their classmates and the teacher. Even the very shy ones may find it easier to reach out when they’re engaged in an activity, like painting or sculpting. They learn how to speak about the art process with one another, which helps them practice communicating with adults outside the home.
#6 Art classes teach children to make choices and decisions
In art classes, children get the chance to experiment and make mistakes, to explore unfamiliar ideas, and try new things without fear of judgement or ridicule. This can promote self-esteem and self-confidence, helping them get better grades in school.
For example, an art project will have many steps, and students have the choice of how they would like to do them. What needs to be completed first? Which ones can be done last? What are the consequences of doing one step out of order? If they glue their materials down before they cut them out, what happens then?
Art classes also teach the value of patience – an important lesson for young children. When working on painting projects, for example, they often have to take time for paint or glue to dry or for something to set up before moving on to the next step. They must often share or take turns with the art supplies.
#7 Art classes encourage problem solving, concentration and perseverance
Children are not born with the ability to solve problems, plan ahead, concentrate or be persistent. These skills and traits must be developed over time, through practice and experience, and an art class is the ideal environment for a child to develop these skills.
Art is all about problem solving. There are no right or wrong answers! When they start a project, students are given a challenge to create something, usually with limited resources and with certain limitations. They create a plan of action, test ideas, experiment with materials, and try out methods until they find a solution that works best. If a drawing doesn’t turn out as they would like, children need to think of other ways to overcome the problem and achieve what they want.
This also teaches the ability for concentration – a key element in getting better grades – as children need to focus on an art activity for a longer period of time than they might ordinarily do when playing on a gadget or watching television. Once they have started an artwork, they will persist and want to complete it, working towards the ultimate reward of seeing their artwork taking shape or improved with practice.
Children gain many benefits from taking art classes. Being able to create new things and channel emotions can have a big psychological impact on their physical and social development. Once they understand that hard work pays off and that they have control over their actions, they can port over their skills in problem solving, concentration and perseverance into their schoolwork, helping them get better grades and do better in school.