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How Can Art Help Your Preschooler's Development?

Your preschooler is into art in a major way. If you let them, your child would draw, glue, sculpt, finger paint, and collage 24-7. Even though these types of artsy activities may seem like simple child's play, they can actually help your preschooler to develop valuable skills.
Even though traditionally 'academic' content areas, such as literacy and math, are absolutely essential when it comes to your young child's later school success, art plays a pivotal role as well. How can the visual arts help your child to develop new skills and abilities? Take a look at the ways in which the arts inspire, energize, and prepare your child to learn.

Emotional Expression

Art is a visual language. Like letters, pictures are symbols too. Even though your preschooler can't write out sentences or tell a story using letters, they can use pictures. Drawing, painting, sculpting, and other art forms provide your child with the chance to express challenging emotions in a positive way. This is especially important in the child's early years when they don't always have the words to express what they're feeling.
Along with drawing or painting out their feelings in pictures, your child can explore emotions through colors and movement. Whether your child is splashing paint onto a paper to release their anger or drawing with 'happy' hues of yellow, they're learning about emotions - and getting a lesson in appropriate ways to express themselves.

Social Skills

The idea of an artist sitting in solitude as they paint or draw isn't entirely accurate. While some artists do work alone, your child doesn't have to. There are plenty of opportunities for young children to build social skills during art activities.

Your child can learn how to cooperate with others while creating a group mural. Or your child could practice sharing as they pass their crayons to another child. Your child could even make new friends while working on a collaborative project.
After the children are done with their project, they can talk about what they created. This type of discussion breeds social skills, giving your child the chance to communicate with others.

Problem-Solving Abilities

How can your child use paper shapes to build a house collage? How can they paint with purple if they only have red and blue? Art is an ideal vehicle for fostering problem-solving skills. Preschoolers are inquisitive thinkers. They want to explore and learn how the world around them works, and art lets them do this.

Open-ended activities, that invite children to explore using materials in multiple ways, add to the problem-solving potential that art has. Instead of telling your child how to paint, how to draw, or how to use clay, let them explore and figure it out on their own. This exploration gives your child the chance to think critically and practice their problem-solving skills.

Motor Development

Preschoolers are in the process of refining their fine motor skills. As your child ages, they progress from barely being able to hold a spoon to gripping a pencil and using it. Art activities provide opportunities for children to practice eye-hand coordination and dexterity. They also help your child to build muscle strength in their fingers and hands.

​Whether your child is drawing with a crayon or colored pencil, gripping a paintbrush, sculpting with clay, or cutting with scissors, they're building fine motor abilities. Trying different types of art activities will give your child a variety of ways to play with different materials and develop their finger and hand skills.
Does your child need more creative playtime? The Learning Centers offers an array of art and educational opportunities.