Engaging in artistic activities brings children a whole wealth of benefits. It can help kids to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, be used as a tool to teach other subjects such as maths and science and even unlock their problem-solving skills. It also builds key characteristics such as patience and concentration, particularly as they work on pieces that take more time and effort. Not only that, it promotes creativity and shows young people that art is important for its own sake. Plus, it’s fun!

These are just a few of the many reasons why it’s such a good idea to expose your children to arts and crafts from a very young age. Another great benefit of art is that it can give your child a voice. Read on to find out more.

Art as self-expression

Children often find it difficult to express their emotions and concerns in words. They might not have the necessary vocabulary to describe exactly what they are feeling, or they might not be comfortable doing so. Art enables kids to express their emotions in a more creative way—often without even realising that they’re doing so. This, in turn, can have a beneficial impact on their wellbeing and also indicate to you as their parent or guardian what might be worrying them.

If you’re Fostering in Brighton or any other part of the country, this is an especially important point. Children in foster care have often experienced trauma, such as abuse or neglect, which may be very difficult or even impossible for them to talk about. Art can be used as a way to give these children a voice and help them to process the troubling events they have experienced—and for you to better understand them. Try asking your foster child to tell you about what they have created as a way to prompt them to express themselves.

In addition, art can be a fantastic way for children to build their confidence and self-esteem. The more they use it as a method of expressing themselves, the more comfortable they will feel doing so. Not only that, it can help them to feel more confident in talking about issues verbally too. Each piece they produce is an individual expression of themselves, and your positive response to their art will give kids a sense of personal validation and boost their self-worth.

Using art to bond with your child

There are lots of ways that you can encourage your child to get in touch with their artistic side and use it as a way to bond. Don’t put any pressure on them to produce something that’s ‘good’. Just focus on having fun. That might mean getting messy with paint, experimenting with different ideas, or gathering together lots of materials such as glitter, crayons, and papier-mâché, so kids have plenty of choice over how they want to express themselves. It’s also a good opportunity for them to learn that it’s ok to make mistakes and try doing activities in a variety of ways until they find something that works and that they enjoy. Finally, be sure to get involved with the creation yourself. By doing arts and crafts together, it encourages your child to share and open up to you— whether artistically or otherwise.