Young Audiences wants to partner with you to help spark arts enthusiasm in kids. We believe that an integrated arts curriculum–and an early and lasting love for the arts–is essential to academic success and personal growth. That’s why we’re starting our “Research Says” series to help everyone out there understand how very important the arts really are.
This month we’re highlighting the importance of arts education in early learning. Research says the arts play a major role in developing a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and motor skills. According to Friedrich Froebel, whom many recognize as the “father of Kindergarten”, the arts encourage each child’s “full and all-sided development” (Froebel, 1826). From the simple techniques of tearing paper and color coding, to holding a paint brush and sharing/interpreting ideas through creative movement, the arts provide avenues for children to tap into creativity, imagination, and play while simultaneously fostering critical developmental skills at an early age.
Last Spring, Young Audiences’ teaching artists worked in over 20 Cuyahoga County Universal PreK (UPK) sites, working with early learners and their families to create a public art projects
to be displayed at their school. The project was funded by Invest in Children and Starting Point. Teaching artist, Wendy Mahon, reflects on her experiences working with early learners of Tremont Montessori:
“In creating the mural, the kids developed their fine motor skills, strengthened their muscles in their hands when ripping the paper into smaller pieces. They also learned about shapes when they were required to tear the paper into squares and rectangles. The kids developed strong sorting skills when choosing buttons and jewels that are in a particular color family. Kids were exposed to the concept of using found materials to create art… magazine pages, buttons, and bits of fabric.”
The process of creating public art projects also encouraged children to work cooperatively and communicate effectively with their peers. This helps foster social and emotional development, or socialization, which, according to The Creative Curriculum for Preschool, is “the process by which children learn the values and behaviors accepted by society. It is also about becoming a competent and confident person.” Young Audiences’ early education programs have been designed to help cultivate the skills necessary for children to be “school-ready.” Plus, kids learn self-expression, foster creativity, and have a lot of fun.
How do you incorporate the arts into the days of your early learners? How can we help? We can’t wait to hear from you!
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