How Can I Support My Child's Art Education?

Quick Tips for Parents

The majority of American adults believe that arts education is very important to the development of today’s children—according to a recent survey by Americans for the Arts, the national organization for advancing the arts in America. In fact, 76 percent of adults agree that arts education is important enough to get personally involved, but two-thirds of respondents don’t know how.

Here are a few quick tips for parents on how to become involved in arts education, based on research findings from Americans for the Arts:

  • Provide a creative zone stocked with art supplies?Encourage spontaneous creative expression in an area that can stand up to spills or stray marker strokes.
  • Focus on the process, not the outcome?The performance or end result is not important; it’s the journey that matters.
  • Reserve judgment?The arts allow children to express themselves in ways that are uniquely theirs and don’t require a right or wrong approach.
  • Demonstrate by example?Seek out age-appropriate venues and performances that make the experience relevant and enjoyable.
  • Build confidence?The arts offer infinite possibilities and challenges as children think through the creation process, and ultimately build problem-solving skills and confidence.
  • Rhyme, sing, read and role-play?Language-rich activities make building prereading skills fun.
  • Encourage scribbling?Squiggles are more than just artistic expression, they’re an important precursor to writing that help toddlers develop fine motor skills.
  • Play music, sing, and dance?Engage all of the senses to build listening skills, cultivate memory development, and encourage expressive movement.
  • Get the facts?Ask questions at your preschool to learn how arts education programs are funded and how funds are being used.
  • Voice your opinion?Arts education programs are often enhanced or implemented because of parental insistence. Be vocal and make arts advocacy a habit.