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Making art, an imperative during childhood

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

Published in Muscat Daily


Children love to make art. Art is connected to creativity, growth and joy but it is also a way to express feelings and emotions. Art provides a creative and fun space where everything is possible, where dreams can be real and imaginations soars. Providing children with opportunities to make art will most likely result in the development of an expressive creative person able to solve problems and explore opportunities.


Some adults have difficulties with the term “art” as they fear their lack of artistic expression will not allow them to guide children through this world. Adults must remind themselves that the word “art” does not only mean the art we see in museums and galleries, art also includes the scribbles and drawings a toddler makes automatically. Being open to a larger concept of art will help adults create opportunities to make art. Not knowing how to draw, or having little experience with paint is not an obstacle to discover the world of art. Since art is based on sensitivity, adults can awaken children’s socio emotional aspects by using colors, stories, and by providing a safe space to make art.


Pursuing art activities does not only mean developing artists, including art is a simple strategy to educate all areas and potentialize creative, reflexive and critical thinking. As we have learned our experiences during childhood are crucial in the development of the brain. Physiologically the brain is divided in two hemispheres. The right hemisphere is where emotion, perception, intuition and creativity stem from. Schoolwork usually focuses on the left hemisphere, used for logical thinking and analytical process. Studies have shown that art no only aids in the development of the left hemisphere but it also helps create a connection between the two hemispheres. Additionally, it develops the eye- hand coordination and final motor skills necessary for learning.


Through art children develop creatively and emotionally as they learn to express their feelings and thoughts through colors and shapes. Art also help children grow with an open mind, able to observe, describe, analyze and interpret the world around them. Problem solving and critical thinking are practized with every art decision: should I paint the dog black, brown, spotted? Art is also able to hold contradiction and multiplicity making it possible for children to understand there is not only one answer, and that there can be multiple points of view. In the same way that there are many cultural expressions and ways to relate to others. Finally, art builds confidence. Because in art there is no right or wrong children learn to be authentic and to express their true selves with pride and originality.


Having a creative environment at home, and at school, helps children develop and reach their potential. When creating opportunities to create art adults must consider a larger definition of the word art. Paints, crayons, colored pencils, magazines, clay, plasticine are the usual suspects when thinking of art materials. But it is important to also notice each child’s particular interest and enhance it with an artistic perspective. Cooking can be art, as can be gardening and collecting.


  • Here are some tips to include art in the development of your child:

  • Have art supplies easily available.

  • Celebrate tour child’s artwork – hang it around the house or create a special folder to keep it. Always make your child feel that his or her art is important to you.

  • Teach your child to clean up after he or she is finished and to respect the house rules and the art materials.

  • Include art in your life though books, movies, concerts and visits to museums.

  • Develop your own art activity. Keep an open mind as this can include decorating, cooking, scrapbooking or traditional art activities such as painting, drawing or pottery.

  • Advocate for art in your child’s life. Talk to school and other adults about the importance of art.


Remember, the single most important art material is imagination. With this in mind the essential attitude to art is one of no judgment. A space where we are all artists, and particularly where children are our art teachers, as Pablo Picasso once stated: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”



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