We all want our children to find something they can get excited about. There are proven benefits to children being involved in hobbies, like improved cognition and reduced stress. We also know that participation in the arts has positive cognitive, emotional, and social benefits. The combination of the two is highly beneficial to a child’s development.
There are many ways that children can participate in the arts; one of the opportunities we offer at St. Barnabas is a series of engaging arts extracurricular programs. From time to time, parents who know the benefits of arts participation ask us how they can get their kids excited about the arts. Here are four of our favorite ideas.
1. Expose Your Children To The Arts
The best way to get someone interested in the arts is to expose them to what great art looks, feels, or sounds like. We all live busy lives, and it’s easy to go through our days focused on moving from one responsibility to the next. However, exposing ourselves and our children to the beauty that’s possible in the world around them and to the incredible works other artists have created inspires our brains to try something new. We are so fortunate here in DeLand, Florida, to be surrounded by incredible arts organizations. For children interested in music or theater, we have the Athens Theater downtown; if your child is interested in visual arts, there is the Museum of Art Deland, and Stetson University is overflowing with opportunities to expose children to the arts.
2. Give Them Opportunities To Experiment At Home
Sometimes you only know what creative idea to pursue once you have the opportunity to put pen to paper. Often creativity comes when people have free time to sit and try new things. Give your children opportunities to get creative at home, whether by providing them with art supplies or buying an instrument or recording equipment. When we invest in tools of the trade and create opportunities for them to try something new incredible inspiration is born.
3. Make Arts Participation Fun
As parents, we know that to become a great painter or singer, you have to spend time practicing. And we also know that practice isn’t always fun. There are a lot of things we do as adults because we know the outcome will be good even though we don’t really want to do them. Young kids don’t always have the maturity to understand that mindset, so it’s easiest to Encourage them to participate in their particular art form when it’s going to be fun. That may include sending them to an arts camp, helping them sign up to show their wares at a local art festival, or participating in extracurricular activities on campus.
4. Join An Arts Community
While discipline is often developed in solitary moments practicing, excitement for the arts can easily come from being a member of an arts community. Art classes and performance groups provide wonderful opportunities for students to meet like-minded people and learn from those with more knowledge and experience. The communities built in on-campus extracurriculars are a great environment for your child to explore their interest in the arts.
We are thrilled that so many parents are interested in establishing excitement for the arts in their children. We’ve seen firsthand how arts education strengthens our students’ academic and social development and helps mold them into passionate, motivated students. Contact us today if you’d like specific information about our arts extracurriculars or if you’d like to speak to a member of our staff about joining the St. Barnabas community.