You’ve just enrolled your 5-year-old for a group art class. You have noticed that the kid has a special love for drawing and painting, and you feel obliged to give him/her the possibility of developing this natural talent.
On your way home, however, you begin to have some doubts; “What if my child has a negative experience in the group?” “Will my child learn any additional social and emotional skills apart from drawing and painting?” We asked painter and teacher Amanda Lee Jones answer your questions to clear your doubts.
Working in a Group Art Class has Innumerable Rewards for Your Child
The decision to put your child in a group art class opens them up to a broader experience than they have had until now. We could describe it as painting a brighter and larger picture for your child by giving him/her the possibility of seeing the world through art and in the company of other kids. Specifically, the experience of being in a group art class has these key benefits:
- Your child begins to learn the meaning and the benefit of teamwork which is not only beneficial for the present but a valuable asset in adult life.
- Especially in the early years of growth, children have a developmental limit that makes them want everything for themselves. Being in a group art class helps them develop a sense of patience since they cannot always have everything for themselves but have to share space and art material with others.
- Already at their young age, group art helps children nurture a sense of peer collaboration especially when they have to complete group art projects like coloring a wall.
- Group art classes are excellent spaces where children can learn the art of vividly communicating their ideas.
- Children are the most spontaneous category and will laugh out loud when their friend’s drawing looks like a pig while it was intended to be a cat. This experience could serve to initiate your child to the crucial ability to accept productive criticism.
- Group art classes can serve as your child’s first place for discovering and developing their leadership skills. The future leader is the child who in the art class convinces others to put their art material together so they can make a gigantic painting for their art teacher.
Attending Art Classes Gives Your Child Greater Social and Emotional Intelligence
At the beginning of 2018, The National Endowment for the Arts (an independent agency of the US federal government) released a report dubbed “The Arts in Early Childhood: Social and Emotional Benefits of Arts Participation.” The report underscored that children involved in arts had better social skills than those who were not and were also better equipped in regulating both positive and negative emotions. These general benefits are reflected in the following social-emotional benefits of children’s involvement in art.
Art builds your child’s confidence
Art allows children to use their imagination and independently express their ideas without limitations. This is key in developing a sense of confidence from the realization that they can create something on their own.
Art enhances a feeling of happiness
The experience of joy and fulfillment that springs from children’s engagement in art activities is not just a result of the basic fact that art is fun but also of the child’s feeling of realization in creating something that is solely the result of the creativity and imagination.
Art cultivates the appreciation of diversity
Working with and among others on art tasks allows children to experience and appreciate diversity. They get to value the different ways through which others represent the same reality. This encourages children to initiate conversations that help them learn from each other.
Art spurs empathy
Through art, children often reproduce persons and realities that are significant in their lives. For example, a child may paint their friend’s puppy with a broken leg to communicate how sorry they feel for both their friend and the puppy.
Enrolling your child for group art classes allows them to experience the benefits of being in the company of other children with similar goals. Besides, your child’s social and emotional intelligence is enhanced in specific values of happiness, empathy, confidence, and appreciation of diversity.