Art is important because it encompasses all the developmental domains in child development. Art lends itself to physical development and the enhancement of fine and gross motor skills. For instance, when kids work with play dough, they fine-tune their muscle control in their fingers. All manipulative movements involved in art help develop hand and finger muscles that are needed to properly hold and use a pencil.
Art activities also help children’s social and emotional development. Children learn about themselves and others through art activities. It really helps them build self-esteem. It’s an opportunity for children to make a personal statement about their uniqueness through art while allowing them to express happiness, joy, and pride.
Art also enhances children’s cognitive development which can help kids with their early math skills. Children who have experienced a wide range of people and places will have an array of ideas to choose from when doing art. Art reflects what a child knows about the world and enables the child to choose how to translate those ideas and experiences.
Finally, art is important because it allows children to be creative. Each piece of clay manipulated or each easel painting is individual and original to each child in your program. Art is open-ended and all work can be honored.
In your response, you talked a great deal about social and emotional development. I thought that the article and video's did a great job of discussing how art can help students who struggle with social and emotional development. I think all students would benefit from social and emotional development, however, the integration of art among students with disabilities left a mental reminder for me. I will be integrating art to help more of my students in the future.