The effects of Art on children

Children are known to be naturally creative (Art Therapy Journal). Being creative helps children develop in many ways. It helps with physical development, developing eye-hand co-ordination, muscle development and fine motor control (eXtention, 2015). It develops social skills; children will socialise with each other when creating by collaborating and asking questions, making friends and building confidence. “Children learn about the control they have over their own efforts and the impact their actions have on the world around them. They can practice sharing and taking turns, as well as appreciating one another's efforts, rather than always being in competition with each other (Zaniboni, 2012). As well as social development, emotional skills are built, growing self-esteem and confidence. “As children participate in art activities they gain self-confidence, feel pride in their work, and experience success" (Bullard, 2010 cited Koster 2005).


Art develops cognitive development, building on problem solving skills. It encourages children to find creative ways to solve problems such as how to mix colours to make new ones, and getting them to think 'how do I make certain subjects from the materials I have been given?' It asks the questions, What? How? Why? “Instead of following specific rules or directions, as they are often encouraged to do in school and in their homes, art engages kids' brains and makes them ask how and why?” (Zaniboni, 2012). These are also skills that can be used in later life, and be developed further.


Participating in art allows you to grow your imagination, and willingness to experiment. “The freedom of art links it to imaginative play.” (Kramer, 1973) Taking risks is also a massive part of being creative, being innovative and using acquired knowledge. 


As pupils acquire experience, develop skills, and broaden their knowledge and understanding, they are able to use their increased control of materials, movements, media, and ideas to demonstrate a more mature level of creativity. Ironically, in contrast with the view that a climate of ‘anything goes’ is conducive to creativity, the opposite is the case. Higher levels of creativity usually result from an interaction of considerable knowledge and skill with a willingness to innovate and experiment” (HM Inspectorate of Education, 2006)