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Art is Essential to Early Learning By Shannon Lakey

Art has such an important role in the classroom. When most people think of art for young children, they do not understand how crucial it can be for learning. They might think markers and paper are boring, and that children do not learn anything from doing art. This is however not the case. By holding a marker, children are using their fine motor skills, which they will need father down the road when it comes to writing with pencils in Elementary School. 

Art is more than playing with paint, and making marks on paper. When children are engaged in art they think and feel at the same time. Thinking of what color to paint with, while feeling how the paint brush feels in their hands. They can learn about mixing colors and what would happen when you mix blue, and yellow together. Seeing their face light up as they discover the color green after mixing the two together is the most exciting part of the art experience. 

Talking about art, can be as simple as saying “Why did you decide to use blue?” or, “Wow, I see you used a lot of colors there, which is your favorite?”. Dinner time is always a good time to talk about the day, and discuss the art a child has brought home. Other questions to ask would be “What did you make?”, or “I like how you made all those lines, what do they represent?” Having your child talk about their art builds confidence, it makes them feel important and that their art work is special to you as well.

Art activities help with cognitive skills, motor skills, and fine motor skills. Using clay, paint,even markers are all good mediums for letting children explore with. By participating in art, children can also learn about art culture, art history, characteristics, self-esteem. At the end of art time when it is time to clean up, this will also help encourage teamwork and cooperation. 

Art has many aspects to it. As a teacher, they are always facilitating while the child is doing the art. Having access to different materials makes art fun! Support art, make art and ask your child about theirs it will make a difference to their little minds.

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