Toddler Time! January 2014

Toddler Time

Why Are “The Arts” So Important?

In the past, art was the way one culture shared history as well as instructional stories about morality and survival. This was the most important thing passed on to the next generation. Today the arts are viewed as more of a way to pass the time. Most people use art as a way to enhance their lives but not as an essential part of it. However, research is continuing to show us that there is a strong link between our cognitive development and the creative arts.

Looking on the shelves of any baby store you will see books, CD’s and videos claim to stimulate brain development using music and art.—— Did you know that the majority of what your child does naturally can be considered forms of art. Promoting and encouraging these forms of art are instrumental in the developing your child’s cognitive skill. Dancing, singing, and drawing are all beginning forms of art that engage the senses, which cause those neural connections to rapidly form. This can all be achieved while you are doing what your child loves the most.

Visual arts provoke the area of the brain that focuses on the visual processing system that helps determine fantasy from reality. Dramatic arts help the brain in areas of emotional and spoken language. Certain areas of the brain only respond when stimulated with music. By understanding the connection between creative arts and cognitive development, you should be able to grasp the importance of integrating this type of learning into your child’s early years, and continue to develop it as they grow.

In school our little ones learn songs and create masterpieces with finger-paint. These activities enhance their cognitive skills. By sharing their art we develop social skills, and encourage children to take pride in what they have done. When we dance, we develop gross motor skills and excite the brain by listening to music. Pattern recognition can be observed throughout most types of music, and symbolic representation is present within art.

As Parents and Educators it is our responsibility to expose our children as to the creative arts as early as possible. By taking the time to promote the arts in our children’s lives, not only do we enhance their lives but their cognitive development as well.