Participating in theater is about so much more than playing dress-up. There are significant cognitive, physical, emotional and social benefits to participating in live theater. Many of these benefits are just what our visual-spatial kids need, but are also a safe, fun way for our more auditory-sequential kids to develop their “other” side.
the arts for children
Being a big proponent of multisensory learning and the arts, our house was always busy with a variety of visual, tactile activity, incorporated through many arts and crafts at home. All four of my kids are visual learners and all interested in the arts. Even as adults, they have continued their involvement in the arts and have all pursued careers related to the arts and education. (Can you see my proud mama smile?)
Art has always been a facet of who I am. From the first moment I picked up a pencil and scribbled something other than my name, art became a part of me. Art has helped me develop my creativity. Art has helped me build my confidence. Art has shown me an endless canvas of unlimited possibilities.
When I was a child, art allowed me to express my thoughts that were too complex to convey through words. It brought focus and simplified concepts I had conceived. Art took those thoughts and brought them to life in a visible and tangible form. For being a child, art provided this powerful tool which aided in my communication.
As your child moves through her scholastic experience, chances are her favorite class will vary from year to year depending on changing interests. However, depending on her learning style, certain aspects of each class may always appeal to her. If you have a kinesthetic learner, gym class may jump start his engine each day. Your visual learner will favor any class that uses lots of pictures, videos and objects. Your auditory learner will like reading and algebra because she’s comfortable with words and logical processes to reach her answer.
Whether you frequently visited art museums as a child or not, the thought of bringing your kids near a Picasso can be quite scary. So many people, such a big space, equipped with so many potential disastrous situations. If taking your children to a museum is not your idea of a good time, here are some tips to make the process a bit more enjoyable:
With shortfalls in education budgets, the arts — visual art, music and theater programs — are first to be eliminated from school curriculum. Sadly, they are considered “non-essential” as they cannot be tested in the same way as other subjects. School funding and teacher performance evaluations are based on student test scores.
Time and time again, I have gone into classrooms to hear that children have already self-determined that they are or are not artists. The ones that say they are continue to explore and enjoy the process, and have a drive to continue and seek out the information they need. Sadly, it is the majority that decides they do NOT have what it takes to be an artist. This is tragic.