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Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. According to the National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors. Language Development: For very young children, making art—or just talking about it—provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions. By elementary school, students can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork. Decision Making: According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life. Visual Learning: Drawing, sculpting with clay and threading beads on a string all develop visual-spatial skills, which are more important than ever. Even toddlers know how to operate a smart phone or tablet, which means that even before they can read, kids are taking in visual information. This information consists of cues that we get from pictures or three-dimensional objects from digital media, books and television. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University.