Jocelyn Jones from Studio Jocelyn has learned that creativity is critical for fostering the development of a child’s cognitive and motor skills. Here, she shares her insights from her own experience as well as from teaching art to children. In April, Jocelyn coordinated with Delft MaMa to provide a free online workshop. We are pleased to announce a second workshop will be held on Saturday, June 5!
A stick in mud, sea water and sand, brush and paint. These are the simple things in my childhood that spring to mind when writing about creativity in children. My own experience of being a child and feeling the joy of marks with whatever tools I had in hand…
Later on in life I have learned how important it is for children to play and experiment with these simple mark-making tools. Why, you ask? It helps the development of the brain and these skills learned at a young age are essential for developing other new skills. Through teaching art, I have found that creativity in children helps them to learn the following skills:
Six Fundamental skills
1. building self-confidence
Children that create things with their own hands will grow more self-confident. When they see you react in a positive way to their creations, it gives them a satisfying feeling, a sense of pride. You can encourage this by framing their art work and hanging it up in a prominent place. This shows them that their work has value and is appreciated.
2. Problem-solving abilities
Kids that draw and paint with enthusiasm often get spontaneous ideas. As they work on their projects they learn how to make choices and find solutions to problems. They learn skills like ‘thinking out of the box’ and self-reliance.
Through art, children can express themselves in a unique way. As a child I struggled with dyslexia and found that I could express myself better in art. Fortunately, schools are very much aware of these challenges now and encourage children to communicate with more visual aids in education.
4. improving fine motor skills
By drawing and painting with different sorts of materials, children improve their fine motor skills. A child that has learnt how to hold a pencil at a young age will develop his or her fine motor skills more quickly. By practising skills like cutting, tearing, moulding clay, etc., fine motor skills are developed. These are skills that are also useful in everyday life, like eating with knife and fork, tying shoe laces and writing.
5. Concentration and focus
Children learn how to concentrate and focus when they work in a calm and peaceful environment. The more often they practice working like this, the longer they will be able to concentrate. It will help to train them to focus for longer periods of time on other tasks.
But most of all, the fun and pleasure they have while drawing and painting is important. Children are expected to perform well in society and this can be stressful. Self-expression, experimenting and making mistakes is all part of the process. Art allows children to learn and discover through having fun.
Helping your children with creativity
There are many ways children can be entertained nowadays. Often, there are too many options to choose from. Colourful, bright and noisy battery-operated toys and computer games leave little to the imagination.
Active toys versus passive toys
Active toys, such as video and computer games and television, only respond to the child’s manipulation and kids will start to rely on the toy to entertain them. When you encourage your children to use passive toys like sticks and mud, building blocks, or paper and pens, they will develop their imagination and concentration skills. By playing with passive toys, children need to activate themselves and are inspired to play more.
Every child has different interests. Let them pursue a subject or skill that they enjoy and find fascinating. Forcing an interest on them has the opposite effect! Let them try out different ways of expressing creativity by participating in dance, sports, music, coding, robotics, crafts or art. Let them find their channel and keep offering them new challenges in that particular area. You will find they grow and flourish…
It pays off
During my career as an art instructor, I have seen many kids turn from a shy person with low self-esteem to a flourishing young adult pursuing further education in art and even going on to become fashion designers, architects and photographers! It makes me proud to have been part of that process.
Since 2008, I have been happily inspiring children to express themselves through:
- Art lessons (https://www.studiojocelyn.nl/online-art-lessons-for-children/)
- Workshops (see Instagram and YouTube links later in this article)
- Birthday parties (https://www.studiojocelyn.nl/birthday-parties)
I also provide art workshops for adults. Here is an example:
I teach skills in drawing, painting, and crafts. Projects include:
- Drawing perspective
- Self portraits
- Drawing animals
- Recreation of famous paintings
Techniques are taught using the following mediums, among others:
- Water colour
- Acrylic, gouache and oil paints
- Water-soluble pencils
STUDIO JOCELYN IS NOW ONLINE!
‘Studio Jocelyn’s online art community encourages children to practice what they already know and also learn new skills in art.’
Last year, I started teaching my students online. Although I miss the hands-on experience with students, I have found that there are many benefits of connecting with my art kids online. These include:
- personal contact and feedback through e-mail and Whatsapp group
- each student has their own art supplies
- online instructions and a whole week to perfect skills
- development of a structured portfolio
- an archive of previously recorded online art lessons to access
Take a sneak peek at Studio Jocelyn’s online art studio here.
JOIN US FOR A FREE WORKSHOP!
In collaboration with Delft MaMa, I will be holding a workshop on Saturday, 5 June at 10:00. This workshop is for children aged 10 and up. Join your son or daughter to create a beautiful optical illusion! Click on this link for more information and to register.
CONNECT WITH STUDIO JOCELYN
- See articles about art, education, and inspiration
- Special offers on my online art lessons
I look forward to meeting you online!