Children are never too young for enrichment opportunities. It not only helps them develop confidence and social skills from a young age, but enrichment programs are actually considered critical because the brain is developing so rapidly at this age. In some classrooms and programs, the arts are only an option. But as the research and experts demonstrate, considerable value is granted to children who participate in music, theater, art, and dance alongside other learning activities.
The Benefits of Arts Education
Arts and Enrichment programs provide great developmental benefits. Crafts such as coloring, drawing, and cutting all require your child to use both of their hands together. This skill is important in other areas of their lives as they continue to grow. In order to draw shapes, cut patterns, and write, your child is required to use their fine motor coordination. These skills similarly translate to other areas of their lives, such as dressing, eating, and in academics.
According to Americans for the Arts, even though 93 percent of Americans believe that the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education, and despite its benefits, many students do not have access to arts education. Young people that are regularly engaged in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievements. Cognitively, emotionally, and culturally, the arts can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing and out-of-the-box thinking. It’s clear that arts education adds value to students on more levels than simply increased academic performance.
Art activities also provide a positive way for children to build skills such as self-control and patience. These activities also teach them flexibility and gives them the opportunity to be creative, which can have great benefits later on in life when establishing a career. According to Americans for the Arts, 72 percent of business leaders say that the number one skill they look for in a candidate is creativity.
Arts Education in the Classroom
Teachers can take steps to reap the benefits of the arts in nearly any subject. Integrating them into the classroom encourages a level of creativity that builds students’ abilities and thinking processes and exposes them to the arts, which has its own deep value. With the arts in the classroom, teachers can experiment with approaches that connect to students and accelerate their learning, interests, and passions.
At Educational Playcare, we engage in the arts on a daily basis whether it is through dramatic play, music and movement activities during one of our Quack Pack classes, or creative art projects that tie into our weekly curriculum themes. For these, we encourage our children to engage in process art because it allows them to focus on being creative and they gain the confidence to explore and experiment.
When choosing a childcare program for your child, be sure that enrichment components are part of the curriculum. Enrichment classes provide a different environment than what children experience at home. These types of programs let them become explorers and discoverers of the world. The classes shouldn’t push children, but instead provide an environment rich with opportunities to explore and learn in ways that come naturally to them.