An Exploration of the ArtsWhen it comes to early learning, art and creativity play an undeniably large part.
In 2005, a report by the Rand Corporation called "A Portrait of the Visual Arts", argues that art education not only provides a creative outlet, but it helps to connect students to the larger world, improving their community awareness and involvement.
In 2006, a Guggenheim Museum study on art education showed a strong link between arts education and improved literacy skills.
In 2009, the International Journal of Early Years Education, presented a research project in which they explored and found that knowledge of the arts not only helps children to refine other skills such as mathematical and reading skills, but it also aids in development.
There are so many studies similar to these that outline the importance of the arts in the development of young children. The wonderful thing about this is that it is easy to provide children with creative outlets. There are countless resources available to children and families, and there are some great ones here in NYC.
1. Children's Museum of the Arts (Website)
CMA has an established goal of making art accessible to all children. "Accessible" in this instance means that children have access to art as well as being physically able to engage with art. CMA takes a "hands-on" approach, believing that direct involvement allows for the best expression of creativity and learning.
The museum offers over 2000 pieces of children's artwork from all around the world, giving children the opportunity to broader their horizons and experience different cultures and ways of life. CMA also offers daily workshops, such as landscape drawing, after-school classes, summer day camps, private lessons and so much more.
2. Children's Museum of Manhattan (Website)
Founded in 1973, CMOM has truly become the location where learning meets play. CMOM's goal is to help prepare children for school as well as to improve the social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth of young children.
CMOM offers a variety of exhibits, programs and performances that allow for children to freely explore their imaginations through play and discovery. They have a specifically tailored early education curriculum, a variety of workshops, and family programs such as "Eat, Sleep, Play" that helps to educate families on healthy lifestyle behaviors. CMOM is a collaboration of artists, musicians, dancers, actors, authors all with a shared goal of helping children to broaden their imagination and foster creativity.
3. Brooklyn Children's Museum (Website)
Imagine a place where you never have to worry about your children getting their hands all over everything. At the Brooklyn Children's Museum, kids have the freedom to play, explore, touch and feel everything they discover. They even offer free hours on Thursdays from 3 to 5!
In workshops such as "Try Out Tuesday", kids can discover and learn about endless new things. The museum regularly offers a variety of programs and activity such as math activities, garden exhibits that encourage kids to appreciate nature, and animal, reptile and sea creature lessons. Their current exhibit is called "Pattern Wizardy", going on now through September 6th which allows kids to become wizards while learning and playing with patterns, exploring symmetry in 360-degree mirrors, creating musical patterns through rhythm and more.
These are only a few of so many resources available to children in New York that make it possible for them to explore and expand their creativity. Check back for more resources!