Children are naturally creative on their own accord. But if their creativity isn’t fostered, they begin to lose it as they grow into adults. Pablo Picasso famously said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
One of the best ways to encourage a lifelong love of the arts is to enroll your kids in art classes.
There is an ever-growing variety of art classes available for kids of all ages. If you’re thinking about enrolling your child in one, you’ll be surprised that these types of classes offer much more than an outlet for imagination and play. Here’s how kids art classes help prepare your child for success in life.
1. Art helps improve fine and gross motor skills.
One of the most basic benefits of art classes, particularly for toddlers, is the improvement of fine and gross motor skills. Because there are so many different types of art – from painting to sculpture to drawing – a variety of tools and techniques are required. For many small children, the struggle is real when it comes to using and developing their tiny muscles to hold and use objects correctly. Art classes teach children how to properly hold a paintbrush, pencils or markers and build hand muscles while playing with clay. Older students will benefit by learning proper painting or drawing techniques, and even build muscle when learning to create more physically-demanding forms of art like sculptures.
2. Creating means learning to make decisions.
During the creative process — whether it’s through visual art, writing, or other activities — we often go through a stream-of-consciousness period at the beginning of a project, then go back and strategically make decisions, revising our ideas until we are satisfied with the finished product. When young children create, they go through that same period of stream-of-consciousness and are often satisfied with the end result. As they get older, however, and their personalities develop, their ideas start to become more complicated. And so they revise, making decisions to try to match the ideas in their heads. Through this, they begin to learn the consequences of their decisions, and how those decisions affect the creative process. Art is equal parts innovation and problem-solving. Through continual art education, kids are instructed to be more strategic in their decision making, which they eventually carry over to the adult world of work, relationships and home life.
3. Art teaches children to be more aware of themselves and others.
Part of the creative process in kids art classes is learning about different artists and the variety of methods those artists use to create their art. This means your child will learn about different artistic styles originating from around the world. But art classes also help your child understand different perspectives, and what the artist was thinking when they created their piece. It helps kids appreciate the different modes of expression others may have, to form and value opinions, to appreciate the beauty around them and how others interpret it. Art feeds open-mindedness and diversity in thought and culture, helping your child to thrive in a diverse and culturally-rich world.
4. Creating art teaches focus and perseverance.
Making art is a process. As your child gets older, their creative visions will become more complicated, requiring more time, attention and technique to fulfill their artistic quest. They will no doubt get frustrated and want to quit at times. Art classes help develop your child’s craft and manage their expectations. They will learn that the creative process is something that’s developed over time, and that honing one's skills and techniques doesn’t happen overnight! Your child will learn to see their ideas through to the end, which is an important lesson they will carry with themselves for the rest of their life.
5. Art helps children express their emotions in a positive way.
Perhaps more so than anything else, art helps children express emotion in a meaningful and honest way. According to a 2015 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, art activities help kids regulate their emotions so they learn how to control themselves when they are overwhelmed by anger and frustration. Kids gain a sense of confidence as they take the emotions they are feeling, acknowledge and process them into something visual.
There are plenty more benefits that you and your child will receive from art classes but we just covered the basics. If you want to enroll your child in a local art class, be sure to use Sawyer to find the ones that will fit your schedule best.
If you live in the New York, Los Angeles or Chicago area, be sure to look into these and other art classes using Sawyer.
The Craft Studio Tribeca, 174 Duane St., New York, NY, 10013
As your toddler’s first exploration into art, this class includes songs, a mini art lesson, and quick changing activities. It’s the perfect way to get your little ones excited to craft! We finish each class with a dance party to get our wiggles out!
The Craft Studio Tribeca, 174 Duane St., New York, NY, 10013
The trendiest crafts, coolest techniques, and most fun vibe for the most enthusiastic budding artists. Tons of different mediums will be explored and used to craft the raddest works of art with!
Love Jac - 36 St Felix St., Brooklyn, NY, 11217
Each week you'll focus on a famous artist, create an age-appropriate craft highlighting that artist, and expose your little one to a new art technique. Your children will keep things moving with songs, books, play-doh time, and a color of the day each week.
Snooknuk, 506 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004
You can drop in anytime during this artsy experience to get kids creative juices flowing. They will discover their love for art by coloring outside the lines and exploring different paints and other materials creating whatever their little hearts desire! There will also be pre-planned projects they can choose to create as well.
Chiqui Social - Culver City, 8530 Washington Blvd., B, Culver City, CA 90232
This bilingual Spanish class introduces students to concepts in tinkering, skills training in woodworking and assemblage, and facilitation to create unique projects. Students will learn how to safely use tools and apply those skills to art, engineering, and tinkering prompts.
Dancing Crayons Workshop - 9022 W 24th St, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Designed for early elementary students chomping at the bit to use their new-found skills and knowledge, this class fosters a love of making through gently facilitated individual and group projects.
Unicoi Art Studio, 2059 W Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
This independent painting class will help your child develop their own sense of artistic style. Our teachers will work with each student on their own personal painting goals. We will also provide technical and conceptual advice to assist students in making informed choices.
The Paintbrush, 2646 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614
Kids ages 4 through 12 can join in the creativity of a half day or full day of art projects based on our class model of introducing an artist and creating a masterpiece based on that artist’s work. The laid-back camp atmosphere often allows for a second or third project, and/or our beloved free-art play options such as painting the table, creating a group project, face painting and more. Each day we learn something entirely new, so sign up for a day or a week — it’s all fun!
Be Kids Cafe, 2800 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
During mommy and me classes your child will explore a variety of art and recycled materials and experience new textures as well as work on fine motor skills and learn to be creative in a group setting. Your child will be introduced to sustainable arts and crafts.