Participation in arts-based activities during early childhood has proven benefits in social-emotional development and academics later in life. Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. And the process of making arts can improve fine motor skills, spatial understanding, and of course, creativity.
In young children, writing and drawing skills are developed in much the same way. Usually, the first exposure is when babies are about a year old and are newly able to grasp a crayon or pencil and move it around on paper. Writing and drawing are not only crucial life skills, but they also improve hand-eye coordination, build fine motor skills and help strengthen finger muscles.
It may seem a little premature to be discussing school readiness on a site focusing on children from ages zero to three. The term “school readiness” has traditionally been used when referring to pre-kindergarten students, but more recently, it has been expanded to include infants and toddlers.
How can we promote the social and emotional wellness of babies and toddlers? Even our very first experiences as babies and toddlers can have a lifelong impact on our social and emotional health.