Art is one of those topics that can cause a lot of varied reactions: excitement, blank stares, indifference, or a flashback of a test from high school in which you were supposed to name the painting based on the image. For a lot of people that I know, art is something that they either just don't like or they just don't understand. Or maybe it's that they don't like it cause they don't understand it? Personally, I think that we make too much of "defining" what art means. Instead, I think we should just appreciate that which others have created and how it can add beauty, thought, and creativity to our lives and the lives of our kiddos. I don't think that it's anything we should shy away from---especially when it comes to exposing our children to art---because there's so much value in art and we can learn so much from it.
Did you know that art in a child's life helps them with things like perseverance, critical thinking, developing motor skills, and focus? Research has shown that children who are exposed to art---whether that be painting, sculpture, music, theatre, or other areas within the arts---develop the aforementioned skills and more. Who doesn't want a child who perseveres, is able to think critically, has well-developed motor skills, and is focused?! These are all great traits to have and are important for later in life.
Still, I think one of the hangups we have when we talk about art is really the question: what is art? How do you define art? How is a painting with a white background and a black dot in the center of the canvas considered art? (Don't think I haven't asked that question a time or two!) Recently, a dear friend of mine offered an interesting definition of art. She says that art is "the imagination brought to life in such a way that we can gain a glimpse of the inner workings of complete strangers that can leave us feeling joy, pain, exhilaration, disgust, introspective, and challenged." What I take this to mean is this: art is in the eye of the beholder.
Here are some interesting articles about art and its definition, as well as the importance of art in the lives of children:
Want to expose your child to art? Take them outside, have them look around, and ask them what inspires them in nature. Then, go back inside, grab some crayons, markers, play doh, or whatever you have in the house and encourage them to create. Or, turn the radio to a classical music station and ask your little one to tell you what they think about what they're hearing. There's so much art around us and so many ways to engage in it....if we would but only look...
Plus, this month's GIRLS CAN! CRATE is all about persevering painters and three amazing artists who painted and created, despite the obstacles they faced. The crate will be chock full of fun ways for your little one to create their own works of art, plus the science of color mixing, and more! If you haven't yet subscribed to GIRLS CAN! CRATE, it's not too late to get the Persevering Painters box delivered to your door. Click here to order and introduce your little one to these incredible ladies.