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Art-based child care programs include many activities that help children develop socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. Creating, experiencing, and enjoying art also stimulates brain growth.
Many arts-based education programs include a mixture of:
- The visual arts, such as sculpture, painting, weaving, drawing, mosaic-making and collage
- Dance and movement
- Storytelling, which may include the dramatic arts and writing
- Music, including singing and playing instruments.
These activities help children develop:
- Fine motor skills, used in writing and drawing, grasping objects, and using scissors
- Large muscles, which build strength, balance and coordination
- A strong vocabulary, which helps with reading, writing and communication
- Emotional intelligence, and a strong sense of self
- Social and cultural awareness
- Problem-solving skills
In many arts-based programs, children’s artwork is displayed thoughtfully. This helps children develop a sense of pride in their work and to develop a sense of appreciation for the work of others.
Arts-based approaches to learning are common in many early education programs, including:
Art education is also common in kindergarten and Pre-K classes. Friedrich Froebel, the “father” of Kindergarten, believed that art was central to a child’s development. For him, art wasn’t just a way to entertain children or pass the time—it was a central method for helping children develop fully.