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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. 



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Last updated on July 10, 2020
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