Thank you to our guest blogger Sarah Emerson. After reading through her entry, please scroll to the bottom of the page for information on her blog.
What do you know about art?
Did you know that the world’s oldest art ever found is 70,000 years old? Scientists have found a small piece of stone in South Africa, on which an ancient human created what looks like a hashtag or pound sign. This piece of stone is older than cave art, which was previously thought to be the oldest known art and is around 40,000 years old.
What kind of art is there?
There are so many different types of art! For thousands of years people have been creating art, whether it be by carving figurines, decorating their bodies with tattoos, adding color, beads, shells, or feathers to their clothing, making music, dancing, telling stories or writing literature, making pottery, basket weaving, creating jewelry, and more.
Do animals create art?
Many animals, like elephants and primates, have been taught how to draw or paint but creating art is not something that animals in the wild do.
Why do humans create art and why is it important?
Art is one of the ways that we express ourselves and connect with others, even if we don’t speak the same language. Art has been used to duplicate nature, decorate everyday items, express and communicate ideas, and to be created just for the sake of beauty. Art has also been used to record history, celebrate important people, places, and events, and also to help teach others.
Research from the University of Western Australia suggests that exposure to the arts for as little as two hours every week can drastically improve mental health and overall well-being for all ages.
Why Art is Important for Children
Exposure to art and allowing children to create art is important because it benefits them in so many different ways! The Seneca Academy has created a great list of why exposure to art is so important for kids:
How to Help and Learn as a Family
So what can we do to help children discover and explore art?
Encourage your child to experiment with different techniques, mediums, and materials. Help them focus on enjoying the creative process and not on whether what they make is “good” or “bad” or to be compared to anyone else’s.
Give them materials to work with.
I Create Art Kits are a perfect way to introduce your child to different types of art and let their creativity
take flight! The I Create Art Kit curriculum is designed for parents to use with children and is easily adaptable for various ages and skill levels.
Make sure what projects you are creating or supplies you are using are age and developmentally appropriate
Make sure little ones that may put small objects in their mouths do not have access to things like beads or sequins, as well as supplies that may not be non-toxic.
Don’t be afraid to get dirty!
Sometimes the messiest activities are the most fun and memorable.
Create art together
Time spent creating art together is a great way to have fun and bond with your children. Plus, children love to emulate their role models; if they see you crafting, drawing, or decorating cookies, they will want to too.
Show your kids that art is all around us. Walk around your neighborhood and point out the art you see, like murals, carvings, lawn art, statues and more. Take them to an art museum or gallery to show them all different styles of art. If you aren’t able to visit a museum in person, check out Google’s Arts & Culture page to visit famous museums, learn about art throughout history, and view important artists’ work, art movements, and more.
Ask them questions about their art
When your children show you what they’ve made, ask them to tell you about it. “Tell me about your drawing,” “How did you make this part,” “Why did you choose this color,” etc.
Use holidays as a reason to make new creations
Celebrating holidays is a great way to come up with ideas for new art projects. Make May baskets to share with your neighbors, create Valentines for friends, work together to make ornaments for the Christmas tree! The I Create Art Party Box (New Years Eve Edition) is a great way to keep the kids busy during your events!
Read books together
Reading books is a great way to connect with your child and help to increase their exposure to art and literature, expand their world view and knowledge of other cultures, and build a love of learning.
Spend time together listening to different types of music or get creative and make your own. Have a dance party for extra family fun!
Take art classes
Take advantage of local resources that are often cheap or free. Check with your local recreation center for activities and classes for children of all ages. Even Home Depot offers a children’s workshop where they can create their own project.
Just have fun!