ART and Child’s Development

ART and Child’s Development

The first year of life – from birth to 6 years old of age – are crucial to a child’s development. During these formative years, his emotional, mental and psychological characteristics are established. Through his discoveries and experiences of touching, tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing, the child begins to understand himself and his environment.

Before age four, children like to scribble. Random lines here, big arm movements there. They eventually evolve into smaller, definite shapes and symbols.

Beyond age four, the child starts to assign ever-changing meanings to his symbols. It is called the pre-schematic stage. Parents should be aware of this stage so they can help stimulate their child’s ideas and knowledge about how objects look, and how these objects may be expressed through art.

For the Junior Artist:

  • Allow your child to create artwork from what he sees around him.
  • Take the child to different places like the zoo, farm, children’s theater productions and playgrounds where his curiosity will be piqued.
  • Encourage the child to discover his world through his senses. Touching soft grass, tasting different colored food, hearing good music, watching educational films and having an enriching dialogue between the parent and child will broaden his ideas and understanding of his environment.
  • Art materials must stimulate the child’s creativity but, at the same time, must be age-appropriate. Bright, thick, non-toxic poster paints or tempera, long-handled brushes, thick pencils, and unwrapped crayons are highly recommended for children aged 3 to 6. Colored pencils, markers, oil pastel, poster paints, water color, blunt scissors, glue and varied sizes of paper are safe for ages 6 to 8.

Parents play an important role in paving the way for the child to develop a positive, healthy attitude in life. Pre-conceived ideas of how objects look should not be imposed on children because they have their own way of viewing the world. In truth, there is no definite way of drawing objects. During their developmental years, children see the world according to their own understanding of themselves and their environment. Parents should appreciate their children’s view of what is important to them as individuals, as members of their family and eventually as active participants of society.

Art can serve as a catalyst for the development of your child’s sound body and mind. With the right stimuli, your child will be able to create art with joy and confidence.

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