Even the youngest students are introduced to important concepts as they play and create art in a class. In our studios, we see this as kids learn and grow throughout a session, building each week upon what they have learned before.
Here are some of the cognitive skills children develop as they refine their artistic skills.
- Colors. For classes for the very young, colors are prominently displayed, and are used in numerous places in the classroom: in the play dough, as part of the project, in artwork on the walls.
- Shapes. Learning to identify shapes leads into kids using them in their artworks.
Social emotional development:
- Self-esteem. The look on a childʼs face when they have completed some art they are proud of is priceless.
- Play skills.
- Negotiating with their peers. Kids learn a lot in the sandbox about sharing, asking for what they want, and stating what they donʼt like.
- Navigating new relationships. At the beginning of each session, many times students do not know each other, but by the end, they have developed a relationship with each. They may not be best friends, but they have gotten to know someone and share thoughts and experience with them.
Older children are also learning:
- Decision making and consequences. What happens if I cut this paper here and glue it there? These are safe places to discover that your actions have consequences, both in art and socially.
- Expressing thoughts and emotions in symbolic ways.
- Color Theory. Primary, secondary and tertiary colors, how to use a color wheel, complimentary colors, color mixing.
- Art History. Looking at noted artists as examples of different type of art gives kids a view of art history. For this pointillism project, the students first learned about Georges Seurat and La Grande Jatte.
- Math. Geometry gets more complex in mandalas and other projects.
- Science. Using nature as an inspiration or even as part of the artistic process gets the kids learning about the natural world. This bird print is made from leaves.
These are 21 ways that kids are learning while making art, but there are still more. What would you add to the list?