By engaging in art activities, children practice a variety of skills and progress in all areas of development. Creative art helps children grow in physical, social, cognitive, and emotional development. Children also practice imagination and experimentation as they invent new ways to create art.
Creative art activities focus on the process over the product, meaning what the children do while creating art (feeling paint between their fingers, holding a pencil, or experiencing the stickiness of glue) is more important than what the finished product looks like. These experiences foster growth and development more than coloring a provided picture or having child care providers assist children in gluing pre-cut triangles to a plate to make a sun.
Child care providers can help promote children’s development by providing opportunities for creative art activities. For more information on why creative art is important in child care, take a look at the eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care article Creative Art Helps Children Develop across Many Domains.