Why do we value art at ELE?
At ELE the children thrive in art lessons and we value the importance of art in the curriculum. We believe that -
- Art promotes creativity
Creativity is the ability to think outside the proverbial box, to string two unrelated ideas together in a new way. Solutions to major problems and breakthroughs of all kinds are linked to creativity. The ability to be creative is vital to the success of our children and the well-being of our world. The world needs more and better thinkers.
- Art encourages neural connections.
Art is an activity that can employ all the senses––sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste––depending on the activity. Children’s brain synapses fire away as they experiment and create by squishing paint between their fingers, mixing colors & materials, or drawing from imagination or what they see in front of them.
- Art builds fine motor skills.
Gripping a paintbrush, drawing dots and lines, mixing colors, cutting with scissors, controlling a glue stick or squeezing a glue bottle, kneading and rolling playdough, tearing paper—all of these tasks require increasing amounts of dexterity and coordination, yet they are so fun and rewarding that children want to do them over and over. As kids engage in art activities over time, their fine motor skills improve.
- Scribbling is a precursor to writing
Babies and toddlers begin by scribbling randomly, back and forth. But the more they scribble, the more they are able to control the crayon and its movements across the paper. As children learn to control their scribbling, they make a wider variety of shapes, eventually making all the shapes necessary to write the letters of the alphabet—any alphabet. This skill as a priority in the EYFS.
- Art develops problem-solving abilities.
Open-ended, process-oriented art is nothing but an endless opportunity for making choices, coming to conclusions, second-guessing decisions, and evaluating results. Children become more comfortable with uncertainty and remain flexible thinkers, which is key for creativity and confidence. And the more experience they have with a variety of materials and techniques, the more likely they are to try new combinations and ideas.
- Art helps kids understand themselves and their world.
Children absorb incredible amounts of new information, and they need to process what they have learned in a safe, reflective way. Art allows them to explore feelings and deal with both daily and significant events. Art materials provide a safe outlet for emotions. Feelings and ideas can be reduced to a manageable size and manipulated as desired. Movement, image, color, line, and imagination all help children express themselves in a multidimensional way. This is a way that words may not be able to do, or that may be more comfortable for them than words. When we encourage our children to explore art, we encourage them to master themselves, their bodies, and a variety of tools and techniques. We give them many ways to express themselves.
As parents and teachers, we can offer an environment where it is safe to experiment and create. An environment where questions are encouraged and children have free access to the materials they need and enjoy. We do this not to produce career artists but to raise children who are confident and comfortable with their creativity in whatever form in takes.
- Art helps children connect.
Art is an equalizer, helping create a common ground for children who don’t know each other and who may or may not be interested in the same things. It can help people of all ages, races, abilities, and even languages engage in a shared (and generally mutually loved) activity.
The path to an art-filled life involves an open mind, a few simple tools, a bit of preparation, and an exploratory approach. It’s a path anyone can take and at ELE we explore it together!