Making art and being creative is essential for kids. It has been proven time and time again that learning to create and appreciate art are key building blocks to child development. There is a time and a place for learning in the arts, about the arts, and through the arts, and arts exploration is an important component to the growth of the whole child.
Art classes are benefit children for many reasons, including:
- Art-making encourages children to make decisions, be inventive, develop fine motor skills, grow their confidence and explore methods of non-verbal communication.
- Art lets children express their own personal voice and observations of the world.
- Appreciating art from other cultures and other times gives children opportunities to see the lives of others through art.
- Arts education improves literary and critical thinking skills. In 2006, the Guggenheim ran a program called Learning through Art, which sent artists into schools to teach. Kids who took part performed better on literacy and critical thinking skills tests than those who did not.
- The arts provide challenging creative and problem-solving activities to students of all learning levels.
- Arts education changes the learning environment from one of facts and figures to one of discovery, increasing student engagement and re-igniting love of learning.
- Art encourages peer-to-peer connections, greater interpersonal understanding and peer support, and a greater understanding of diversity.
- Studies show that students of lower socio-economic groups benefit as much or more for art education. At-risk students often point to engagement in the arts as a reason for staying in school.
For parents in Edmonton looking for ideas and opportunities for their children to experience the arts first-hand, the Art Gallery of Alberta(AGA) is a great place to start. The AGA offers a full range of arts education opportunities throughout the year, including drop-in classes, registered classes, and week-long art camps. These immersive sessions let children paint, sculpt, explore mixed media, and include visits to the gallery’s exhibitions for creative inspiration.
Coming up soon, for parents looking for a March activities for kids, the AGA’s Weekend Art Classes and Spring ArtBreak Camps are an interesting and affordable option. The next registered Weekend Art Class session is March 5-April 23, and the Spring ArtBreak Camps are March 29-April 1. This year’s spring class themes relate to current exhibitions, and revolve around storytelling, landscape art, and abstraction. They also include gallery visits, studio projects and community excursions where young artists can generate ideas and create. Kids will make connections to art inside the gallery and beyond.
Weekend Art Classes, Saturday registered studio classes (for kids aged 3-12), March 5-April 23, 10-11:30 am. For more information and to register.
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