Why Is Art Important in Child Development and Learning?

Art allows children to develop motor skills, express feelings, make decisions, experiment and improve spatial awareness. Exposure to a variety of arts, including visual arts, drama, music and dance, gives young children a balanced experience in creativity and imagination.

Different forms of art engage motor skills to help young children develop hand-eye coordination and body control. In visual arts, kids hold pencils, paintbrushes and other implements to work on fine motor skills. Dance and drama use the entire body, increasing a child's body awareness and coordination.

Art allows children to explore without black-and-white answers or procedures. They get to experiment with different techniques and skills while making their own decisions about how to create art. They learn to use creative thinking to solve problems. These skills all transfer to other disciplines.

Children often gain a sense of achievement and confidence from creating art. A child who struggles with reading might find success in art. This confidence can help him in other areas of his life.

Creative arts give children an outlet for expressing themselves. A painted picture might show how a child is feeling about a situation that he struggles to verbalize. Viewing other works of art also gives children a chance to interpret what the art might mean.