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The Benefits of Arts in Early Childhood Development

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I have seen parents asking me, “Is arts really necessary for young children?”. Some believe aesthetic skills are not as important as cognitive, social or language. But watching children will make us believe that it is necessary. We can see children dancing to music, singing rhymes/songs (Swim, Terri Jo 2015). Aesthetic is the chasing of the beauty in music, arts, moment for life (Gonzalez-Mena & Widmeyer Eyer 2015). Basically, it is the appreciation of beauty in things they perceive. Arts fall under broad categories like performing arts (painting, sculptures, singing, dancing), literacy arts (stories, poems, jokes, plays) and usable arts (pottery, knitting, jewelry making) (Gonzalez-Mena & Widmeyer Eyer 2015).

Children who are involved in arts have numerous benefits. It helps children to develop cognitive, social-emotional, and perceptual abilities (Gonzalez-Mena & Widmeyer Eyer 2015). During this activity children work in small groups, interact, appreciate others work and learn from others artistic work. Art will be emotionally satisfying as well as relieve stress (Swim, Terri Jo 2015). It also creates positive feelings and they feel accomplished and proud about themselves. We can see children coming home and showing parents their art work with full of pride. My son does that always.

Also, hands-on experience provides memorable learning, links to real life things and learning will be in a memorable way (Swim, Terri Jo 2015). E.g. if they are drawing a santa claus, they will be excited, relate it to real santa look and feel it. Children can imagine or recreate it. This develops memory or imaginations. Art is a way of communication, it tells the people around them what they know through art. It improves problem solving capacity too (Swim, Terri Jo 2015). Aesthetic education must be included in a child’s curriculum.

Teaching the preschool children through activity to find a solution to a problem (Gonzalez-Mena & Widmeyer Eyer 2015). There may be different solutions to one problem. Children will use their knowledge or past experience to find a solution, it’s just the thought process used to find a solution (Swim, Terri Jo 2015). This won’t happen instantly, they have to learn to solve problems by themselves. They also must learn to find what is the best solution out of all. This is a skill that children should learn from an early age, when they face a challenge they must know to solve it (Swim, Terri Jo 2015). They can’t always depend on an adult to help them. Problem solving skills require many skills like: Lateral, analytical thinking, logical reasoning, language, decision making, negotiation skills (Gonzalez-Mena & Widmeyer Eyer 2015). Either everything will be used to decide or maybe one can be used as well.

This skill can’t be developed overnight with the help of an adult. It slowly develops in an adult and it has to be started at an early age. When they learn problem solving, they can be independent, confident and successful (Gonzalez-Mena & Widmeyer Eyer 2015). They will learn problem solving through trial and error. There are simple problems for children everyday, like: fighting for a toy, taking a ball that is struck (Swim, Terri Jo 2015). When the teacher gives them more and more creative activities, they will exercise their problem solving muscles (Kostelnik, Rupiper, Whiren & Soderman 2014).

When children are purposefully exposed to various challenges, they learn it. This can be done in the classroom. But the teacher can’t make a three year old sit and learn problem solving. So teachers must create opportunities for children to develop the skill (Kostelnik, Rupiper, Whiren & Soderman 2014). When they use their muscles to find a solution, it gets stronger and will be easy to handle situations. There are two ways: (Kostelnik, Rupiper, Whiren & Soderman 2014)

If a teacher encourages free play and activities, their skill gets stronger and they will learn the skill. There are also steps to solve a problem. They are to identify, define the problem, plan, act on the plan and learn the consequences (Kostelnik, Rupiper, Whiren & Soderman 2014). Simple activities can be given for these steps. In my class I’ll ask them to spot the difference in the picture, it helps with identifying the problem. Building blocks help children to look for various ways to find a solution to a problem (Kostelnik, Rupiper, Whiren & Soderman 2014).

Children will be excited to play this game. It helps children to learn problem-solving. I usually play this game in my class as well at home with my son. Children can be given magnifying glass and hats.

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