The Importance of Art for Kids and Children

As an artist and children's art instructor, I can't say enough about the importance of art in children's lives. When I was growing up, art was still taught in school as part of the curriculum. Unfortunately, because of budget cuts in most schools, art, along with other forms of creative pursuits like music, dance and performing arts, have been cut out of children's lives. This leaves us, parents and grandparents, to pick up where schools have fallen short to teach our children the importance of art.

There are many ways we can do this - we can enroll our children in private or group classes, we can teach them ourselves or we can decide not to teach our children art at all. The last option should not be considered because art is an important part of a child's development. Expressing themselves artistically helps children interact in the world around them and it opens their thoughts to new and innovative ways of problem solving - important skills which will carry them through life and serve them well in many types of situations.

An example of what a 5 year old can be taught

An example of what a 5 year old can be taught to do in art. This child is a student at Green Forest Art Studio in Union City, Ca. Art is so important for our children.
An example of what a 5 year old can be taught to do in art. This child is a student at Green Forest Art Studio in Union City, Ca. Art is so important for our children. | Source

Poll about your art experiences

Did you regularly get exposed to art growing up?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes and it helped me a lot
  • I'm not artistic at all
  • I don't remember
See results without voting

Children drawing on-site at a local park

Teaching children to stop and see the beauty around them helps them to look at life in new and different ways. These children are drawing a well at a near-by park.
Teaching children to stop and see the beauty around them helps them to look at life in new and different ways. These children are drawing a well at a near-by park. | Source

The benefits of art for children

So in what ways does art help our children develop? Some of the most important things art teaches our children:

  • How to use their fine motor skills (children that develop their fine motor skills will also be able to use these skills in other academic pursuits like math, science and history when graphs, problems and reports are done)
  • It helps develop the right side of our children's brain (the "creative" side)
  • Communication skills (creating art goes beyond verbal language to help children communicate their feelings - ex: being able to draw "feelings" when it's hard for them to express those feelings verbally)
  • Problem solving skills (creating art helps children learn how to deal with challenges) Instead of following specific guidelines like say math or reading problems, art challenges a child to think about "how" and "why" and what they can do to "solve" what they are expressing. This happens through the use of different art mediums and using their own thoughts to visualize what they want to see on the paper. Mistakes that a child perceives in art can be turned into "successes" and be used as ideas to teach them new ways to look at things.
  • Social and emotional skills (Since art is so unique to each child, creating art helps kids learn to assess their own efforts and applaud the efforts of others without criticism) When done in groups it helps children learn to share, interact and bounce ideas off of one another - fostering "team spirit".

Emma Yang, owner of Green Forest Art Studio in Union City, Ca., sums it up nicely:

"Artwork is an expression of how and what each artist sees. Artistic expression is allowing children to use the media they have experimented within ways that are truly unique. Children need to know that drawings are not always supposed to look like photographs, but are each person's view of the world. Children's drawings become expressions of how and what each child sees. Artistic risk taking, experimentation, and the development of meaning are intrinsic to making art, and children can begin to understand these concepts through their own artistic efforts."

Clay art project done by a student at Green Forest Art Studio

Clay is a wonderful medium for children to do art projects with.
Clay is a wonderful medium for children to do art projects with. | Source

The connection between artists, inventors, great thinkers and scientists

Thanks to the instruction of art we have inventors in our society, engineers and media artists (web, sign designers, illustrators, painters, fashion designers...)

Could you imagine if we had no inventors or people that thought out of the box? Really, think about that for a moment. Look around and think about the things around you that have been invented by someone. What if that person had not thought creatively to invent that item?

Perhaps one of the most famous examples of this was Leonardo DaVinci. Although most people recognize Leonardo as a famous artist, he was an inventor as well. Besides art, DaVinci also made a contributions to the world in the following fields: anatomy, physiology, mechanics, hydraulics, physics, mathematics, writing, engineering, philosophy, orbital mechanics, botany and optics.

Many of our greatest thinkers of all time were artists.

"There is a strong connection between art and science. In America alone, many of our greatest inventors and scientists were also great artists. C.W.Peale, the great portrait artist, was an enthusiastic naturalist and founder of the first natural history museum. The great naturalist Audubon a leading observer of nature drew various species of birds. Robert Fulton studied painting with the great Benjamin West and was considered the Leonardo da Vinci of America. Samuel Morse was the inventor of the telegraph and a wonderful historical artist. George Washington Carver was also a gifted artist, drawing pictures of the plants he loved so much. These scientist’s achievements in art are overshadowed by their success in science."

Art is so important to our children that it's recognized that many of our future leaders, visionaries and great thinkers in our future will be those that learned art as a child. We not only want our children to be able to use the left side of their brain (the analytical side) but also that right side that is so important to thinking and looking at things in new and creative ways.

Why art is so important for our kids

There are so many ways that art is important for our children that it's almost impossible to list them all. Some people mistakenly think that art is all "fun and games". Erroneously some think that because they can't see "quantitative results" from art, that it is not an important subject to study. Quite the opposite is true!

Most importantly, when our children are learning art, it is essential not to criticize their efforts or expect cookie cutter type results from them. There are those children that are truly "gifted", but we should not expect that all of our children will have that natural gift to create masterpieces. Art can be learned, and those without natural talent can be taught how to do art and work on different art projects, regardless of how "talented" they are. All children should be encouraged to further their art education.

Art is subjective and children need to be guided through the art process but not pushed into "one way" of doing it.

Where art is concerned, it is the process of creating, exploring, discovering, and experimenting that is the most important element of creating. And yes, art should be fun!

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Comments 14 comments

nothuk profile image

nothuk 4 years ago from Varna, Bulgaria

What a wonderful hub about the importance of art ! Kids should be encouraged to be artistic and creative, as it will make them enjoy all forms of art and understand life better. Great hub, Dorsi !


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago

I loved this hub. You really bring out a lot of great points about art for kids. I still can remember some of my creations as a child and how important it was that my teacher liked what I did. Art also is a great way for children to express their feelings. And in looking at their art you can cull information, from the pictures they draw to the colors they use. Actually it works for adults and seniors too. So art is really good for everyone. Rated up, useful and interesting.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Dorsi, this is wonderful and inspiring! I completely agree with you and am definitely sharing this important hub.

I taught Drama for several years and I believe that the arts are vital for children to learn how to think outside the box, like you said. The skills learned in the arts transfer to life and to other areas. It is too bad that many administrators do not understand this concept and push the arts down to just a flighty sideline.

Voted up and more. And sharing. Wonderful job!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@nothuk) Thanks so much!

@toknowinfo) Thank you and yes, you are so right, art is for everyone. It's never to late to start doing art. It has no generation limits!

@Prairieprincess) Thanks and yes, drama is another art that has been taken out of our schools for the most part. I enjoyed my drama classes a lot in school. Expressing creatively through all these different mediums gives kids a chance to explore different ideas. Thank you for coming by!


kissayer profile image

kissayer 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

This is a fantastic hub! I always love getting my nannying kids involved in arts and crafts as it teaches them so many more skills than just making a pretty picture. Great hub!


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

This is a wonderful hub and I love the images! You are preaching to the choir. I was a vocational instructor at a mental health facility for 10 years. We did sign and display, molding and casting (some kids made the sculptures and 3d signs we molded). I painted murals for the facility and we started an apprentice program.

Once, a speech pathologist came by when we were doing some big hand lettering on a wall. I was giving her "client" a 4 step direction and he was going to town. She said, "He only tested to be able to follow a one step direction!"

I said, "He wasn't interested in your test."


Helena Ricketts profile image

Helena Ricketts 4 years ago from Indiana

I love this hub! It is so true that children need to be exposed and encouraged with art to teach them so many things. I think it's disgusting that art has been cut out of so many schools.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@kissayer) That's awesome that you are doing art with them. Check out my Pinterest board here: http://pinterest.com/dorsidiaz/crafts-for-kids/ It has some great crafts you can do with kids.

@WD) lol I love it. Art can transcend so many ideas, can't it?

@Helena) Yes it's really a travesty. Our kids are missing out,


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon

Great title and what a great hub on kids and art. I think in this day and age all the arts are suffering and we need to be sure that we allow our kids to express themselves in positive ways. What better ways than art? It takes you away.

Though I was never very good at it as a child, I think that in later life I've learned to express art through color and in my photography. I also use mats for color and have really gotten into turning some of my photos into pencil sketches and watercolors - I'm thinking where did that come from but I'm loving it!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

akirchner) Thanks so much my friend for stopping in. I am so glad to hear you are enjoying some creative pursuits in addition to writing. Photography is a wonderful medium - one of my favorites too! (and color and design - those are my other loves)


Heather63 profile image

Heather63 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

Hey Dorsi! Terrific article on an important subject. On the other end of the spectrum, my mom teaches art at nursing homes, and some of them are trying drawing or painting for the first time. But teaching a child to imagine and create ripples through their whole life. Thanks for the hub!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Heather) What a wonderful job your mother has. God bless her. I once met 2 gentleman in their 60's that had never painted, we were sharing an art class together. It was amazing the undiscovered talent these 2 had and their paintings went on to be featured at our local county fair. I will never forget that! Thank you so much for coming by.


faith_love_hope32 profile image

faith_love_hope32 4 years ago

This hub makes me want to do art! I love art and it really is one of the best things for not only kids but adults too. Art is inspiring and can also be therapeutic.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@faith) I am so glad that this hub inspired you to do art! Let me know if you work on a project and what you are working with - I would love to know. Thanks for reading and the comment.

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