Creative Outlets like Art and Dramatic Play Stimulate Children's Brains with Reasoning, Critical Thinking, and Advancing Fine Motor Skills
Art is creativity in action. Creating and playing with art supplies is stimulating to our brains. Our imagination takes over and helps develop critical thinking skills. Everyone can play and learn with art regardless of their socio-economic background or level of education.
When taught in preschool, art and sensory play help every child, no matter their family income, to learn on the same plane. In early childhood, art can level the playing field and aid in other academic areas.
Creative outlets such as art and dramatic play strengthen critical thinking skills. When a child is creating, they are also solving problems. Whether they make a simple choice of what color to use or they experiment with different mediums and techniques, children learn to strengthen problem-solving skills through creation.
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They learn to form shapes, to match colors, to highlight areas of particular interest as they bring their vision to life. As the work begins to take shape, the child works to improve fine motor skills building a sense of pride or self-confidence in their newly discovered abilities. Learn more about how the arts can help in education by visiting Americans for the Arts.
Sensory play is an art form. When we use our senses to learn, it is easier to retain information. Creating with art supplies is an ideal form of sensory play. The powder from chalk, the way the watercolor brush slides across the page, and the smell and feel of the modeling clay in a child’s hands develops a connection between learning and the five senses.
Encourage imaginative play.
Unstructured, investigative play with common art supplies helps build and refine cognitive skills through problem solving. How does this marker work? What will happen if I swirl the brush in a circle? How does water affect my painting? Fine motor skills are refined as the child learns to draw a straight line or manipulate the clay. The exploration of language evolves by using descriptive words. For example, the clay is cold, the chalk is dusty, and the paint is smooth. Learn more about sensory play and child development at PBS.org.
Making Sense of Art: Sensory-Based Art Activities for Children with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
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