You might think that when your child has learned how to do one art activity it’s time for them to move on to something else. But that’s not usually the case, and here’s why:
Children learn by repetition. Ever notice how a child will sing the same song over and over, ask for the same story, want to watch and talk about the same movie? It’s the same with art projects. When exposed to the same art media over and over, children will
- learn new technical skills as they practice handling art materials in the ways they’ve been shown to use and care for them
- gain valuable organizational abilities as they learn to follow directions and master processes
- express their creative independence as they make choices of color, shape, and texture
- develop the ability to focus on a calming but dynamic activity
- gain confidence in their own ability to control the outcome of their projects
- experience a sense of accomplishment as they complete a project that becomes a valued gift or keepsake
- take pride in repeating their successes and adding new skills to the ones they have already learned
- discover a way to entertain themselves rather than be entertained
As adults, we sometimes become impatient with repetition and feel it’s time to move our children along to something new. But think about all the activities that you choose to repeat, like playing your favorite sport, enjoying a hobby, watching a favorite movie, rereading a book you loved the first time around, cooking a favorite recipe, going to the same place for vacation.
Today’s children have so much stimuli by way of electronic games, TV, and computers that they can have difficulty sitting still and focusing on one thing at a time – and that can add to the stress they feel every day. Taking time with an art project is a way to relax – and repeat – a satisfying experience.
Start doing art projects together early – the same projects again and again – and you’ll be not only helping your child develop rewarding habits, but you’ll create fun family memories at the same time.