7 Benefits of Art in Preschool
Seeing a child pick up a crayon and doodle to their heart’s content is one of the great joys of being around little ones. You can see their focus and joy as their piece starts to come together, and then their pride erupts as they reveal to you their masterpiece. Spending a bit of time on art every day not only allows your little one to engage in their creativity, but it is also beneficial to multiple aspects of your child’s development. Creating art can help improve attention span, among other skills that are developing. Whether your little one is enrolled at a traditional preschool or doing preschool at home, art-based preschool activities will help your little one learn and grow! Playgraden’s virtual preschool offers art projects and ideas that echo the benefits listed below.
Outlet for Emotion
Little ones are still learning how to navigate hard feelings, which means tantrums can sometimes be inevitable. An art project can serve as an outlet for these new big feelings, using creativity to express their emotions in a constructive way. Working through new emotions with art as a preschool activity can instill positive methods of expression, as well as inspire little ones to explore their artistic instincts.
Development of Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills practice is not limited to holding pencils and crayons. As your little one peels and places stickers, works with playdough, or threads beads onto a necklace, they are developing their fine motor skills. These preschool activities aimed at fine motor skills will benefit not only their ability to take care of themselves, but also build the foundation for their writing and typing skills.
Opportunities for Language Building Skills
When your little one has finished their masterpiece, encourage them to share what they have made and about their process. Some little ones will be quick to share and may not even need to be asked. Other little ones may need a little prompting or may not want to give an explanation at all; encourage them to instead share what materials they used to make it, or what shapes they see that they have made.
Also, encourage them to sign their work. This allows them to not only practice writing their name, but also claim their art as their own and be proud of the work they made. Whatever “signing their name” looks like; drawing leads to scribbling, which leads to writing, to cursive, and that will eventually become their handwriting!
Problem solving is a skill that will come up in your little ones’ creative process. Certain tools only work certain ways; sometimes children have to find out the hard way that not everything has an eraser. Crumpling up a piece of paper or squishing a playdough sculpture after getting frustrated is a common reaction. However, it can also be the catalyst for going about an art project (or any preschool activity) in a new way. When given a limited supply of materials, they get to learn how to work with what they are given. For families doing online preschool or preschool at home, Playgarden Online offers projects and worksheets that work critical thinking skills.
Social Skill Development
Time spent alone drawing is beneficial for your little one’s social development. Having a preschool activity to focus on for an extended period of time helps practice patience, as well as helping develop longer attention spans. Problem-solving comes into play as they face issues in their creative process, also allowing them to learn how to deal with frustrations on their own. Having the ability to focus for longer periods of time will benefit them as they start to socialize with their peers, resulting in being patient with others and being able to hold longer conversations. They may also be able to manage emotions a bit easier when frustrations arise.
Art is a creative practice in itself, giving your little one the chance to let their imagination run wild. Spending some time each day drawing, painting, or generally creating lets your little one express themselves without boundaries and see what they are capable of. In our ever-changing world, creativity is a valuable skill, and its practice should be embraced and celebrated. Even if your little one does not want to be an artist, creativity branches into so many fields and hobbies, as well as preschool at home, future education, and everyday life!
Recognizing shapes and patterns are some of the first skills that little ones start to pick up. Learning how to work within a space, like a sheet of paper or a chalk-drawn-square on the sidewalk, introduces them to spatial awareness: experimenting with how much of their drawing can fit into the space given. As they work within the space, they can see where their next move will go — “under,” “above,” “next to,” — developing a familiarity with prepositions and directional phrases. For more math practice for your preschooler, or to find out how to do preschool at home, check out Playgarden preschool online for worksheets and more!
Process vs. Product
Art projects as preschool activities can have two different focuses: process and product. Art for process allows for free expression, with no given rules or directions; this can look like a bag of crayons, a pile of stickers, and a piece of paper in front of them, and letting them draw and create to their heart’s content. Art for product gives instructions with a desired outcome: for example, making a rocketship out of a toilet paper roll. There are specific materials set out to use to create the rocketship, and it is finished once it looks similar to the example.
It is important to have your little one engage in both of these types of art projects to flex their creativity, as well as have them practice following instructions, just like they will in school and/or preschool at home.
Preschool Activities and Projects Perfect for Preschoolers Include:
- Drawing with pencils, markers, crayons, etc.
- Finger painting
- Painting with watercolors
- Working with clay or playdough
- Making jewelry or lanyards with beads and yarn
Whether your family is doing preschool at home, preschool online, or traditional in-person preschool, your little one can unleash their inner artist with these preschool activities. Just a little time spent each day with some art materials is enough to start seeing benefits. Let them play, get messy, and learn as they create and discover!
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Hi, I'm Miss Julia!
Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.