What the art? Why children need art in their life.

fingerpaintingKids LOVE to draw! They love to doodle everywhere, and on everything in sight. Anyone who has kids, nieces, nephews or even babysat can contest to this.  As much as we love their works of art (everything they create is art. Even if it’s abstract), we don’t want it on our walls lol. But what is it that draws children to art (Pardon the pun lol)?

It seems to provide visual enjoyment, but kids are also interested in the marks that are left behind. (If the drawing implement does not work, they quickly lose interest. I’m sure you have experienced this.) The act of scribbling can serve several useful purposes for the kids, especially young ones. Small muscle coordination and control improve with practice, cognitive abilities are exercised, opportunities for social interaction arise, and the physical movements provide emotional release. Remember, endorphins make you happy!

Aristotle famously said that the purpose of art is a catharsis. If looking at or making a piece of art leads to some outburst of emotions, it’s done its job. Any artist can contest to this fact; I know I can. aristotle-quote

When it comes to painting, drawing, sketching, or even doodling, the end product is not what is most important. It’s the process. It doesn’t have to be spectacular or unusual; it’s the process that brings the most joy. When any child creates something and has fun while doing it, that’s what matters.

In simple, it feels good to draw.  Kids feel good about it, and what they create. My little tot is only a little over a year and a half, and boy does he love his scribble time! He giggles over the simplest of lines, he loves to scribble over what I’ve drawn. In fact, his favorite part of drawing with mommy is stealing a pencil from my hand as I’m coloring and running away laughing so I will chase him. If I ignore him and pick up a new colored pencil, he’s back in a flash taking that one too then he’s off again giggling as he awaits to be caught.

Sadly, though, as time goes children can start to drift away from art.  Losing that excitement they once had, and sometimes entirely turning their back on it. Can we do anything to prevent this from happening? Most surely we can!

By taking trips to local museums, kids can get up close and personal with art. Some locations even have interactive exhibits, really encouraging the “hands on experience.” Show them pieces that others have created similar to what they create. Introduce them to different mediums, encouraging them to engage in new styles. Get excited with them over art, the beauty that is art.

I come from a family of artists. Everyone on my father’s side has a strong love for the arts. All of us have our area that is near and dear to our heart. I grew up always surrounded by art, in one form or another. Taking trips to local museums, art galleries, I soaked up every minute of it! Because of this immersion, I connected with art. It stuck with me down to this day.

I live and breathe art. It’s my passion, my love, my life. It’s a part of my identity. Without it, I would feel a void.  I feel sad when children do not have art in their lives. It’s said you can’t miss what you don’t have, but I honestly feel for them. Never being introduced to the beauty that is art is heartbreaking. It’s one thing to have experienced and have no desire for it. It’s another to have never been exposed to it at all.

Everything a child scribbles is art, it’s beautiful and reflects what they are feeling. What more precious gift could you ask for? If you have ever received a drawing from a child I know you hold that treasure close to your heart, they poured their heart and soul into it, and you love it. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of you are reading this still have drawings hanging in your house from 10, 15, or even 20 years ago. My dad still has my pictures hanging in his garage, they are a little worse for wear, but he shows them proudly to any who comes over.

I firmly believe all children should have art in their lives, even if it just “doodling” as some may feel. I also strongly believe that children should have books in their lives.  I implore all of you, let’s help encourage a love for the arts. Let’s get our kids excited to doodle, draw, sketch, and color. Let’s do everything we can to keep this love in them alive and vigorous!

How do you help children become excited about art? One easy way is coloring. Visit my website for free coloring pages to print. Color is a simple artistic way to express yourself, and it can also be relaxing to boot!


Happy doodles!


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2 thoughts on “What the art? Why children need art in their life.

  • Rosie Russell

    Hi Carmela, Great article! Yes, I feel all children love art in some shape or form. Having them explore all the options out there will help them find what they enjoy the best. Art is a wonderful therapy for those that have a hard time expressing their words or feelings. I love art and everything about it! I hope all children and adults will give it a try if they haven’t already or found their niche with it.

  • Laura Hickman

    Hey Carmela! Children need art in their lives for several reasons. Some may use it as an emotional output, a way to communicate with others, a way to connect with someone when words just aren’t enough. I know Jason loves to draw. He has been doing it since he was a little kid. He picked up his first crayon at about a year old. He is learning new ways to create art. To me art isn’t always about drawing. It’s creating something, it doesn’t have to be perfect or beautiful to everyone. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I do know where Jason gets his drawing skills from….his wonderful, talented aunt. Which he is very proud of. I have binders full of drawings he has done over the years.