Each year, our annual art exhibition is one of the highlights of our social calendar – and despite this year being a little different to our usual set-up, it was certainly no exception. We were delighted to see so many parents, friends and relatives join us via Zoom to celebrate some of the incredible artwork that our pupils have produced.
Unleashing creativity is at the very heart of our curriculum, whether it be through music, dance, drama or free play. Over time, the children start to build their confidence and self-esteem, and will begin to develop preferences for different mediums and forms of expression. And, with Children’s Art Week now in full swing, there’s no better time to delve into some of the other benefits of letting our inner artist run wild and free.
An alternative way to communicate
Young children can often be unsure of how to accurately communicate their thoughts and feelings, and art can be a useful prop to help them do so. Many parents are eager to find out how their child’s literacy and numeracy skills are developing, but visual communication is equally important – and perhaps the one that might come most naturally to them.
‘When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play, and it is play that stimulates creativity’ – Linda Naiman
As we grow up, we tend to develop preferences towards the form of communication that we feel most comfortable with – and you may be surprised at how often this eventually influences our career choices too. There’s often a stark division between the arts and the sciences, yet the skills required to excel in each are so closely interlinked.
When a child begins to explore their artistic side, their problem-solving skills improve too. Let’s take mixing different colours of paint, for example. Encourage your child to experiment, then carefully observe what they see. Did they produce the colour that they expected to? How could it be altered by trying something new? Regularly flexing these observation skills can enhance all aspects of their learning.
Fuel for the imagination
Creativity cannot be taught. It can be encouraged, nurtured and explored – but never taught. It’s something that’s instinctual, and it plays a key part in cognitive and social development. Some of the world’s greatest scientists, inventors and mathematicians famously thought outside of the box. Without their relentless experimentation and the courage to try something new, so many remarkable discoveries may have never been made.
‘The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create’ – Barack Obama
While activities such as drawing, painting, collaging and sculpting can ignite our senses and free our minds, they also exercise our focus and concentration skills. It takes a certain level of hand-eye coordination to produce any piece of artwork, and the more we practise, the more we can refine this skill too.
Over the last few months, we’ve all spent more time cooped up indoors than we usually would, and we’ve been so proud to see all of the ways in which our parents and pupils have been making the most of the materials that are available to them. From stick men made from twigs and pipe cleaners, to portraits made from newspaper, their imagination seems limitless!