The Arts

Drawing

Children draw to express what they are feeling and thinking. Because a toddler’s small muscle control is not fully developed, he/she may approach the drawing task by grasping the marker with his or her fist, creating a bit of difficulty placing the marks exactly where he or she wants them. Movements are typically large, involving the entire arm with little finger or wrist control.

With practice, the toddler will naturally improve his/her control of wrist and finger movements. Full control, however, will not be achieved until much later.
Drawing also helps to develop manipulative skills that will assist children to write.

Music

Music has the ability to strengthen the connection between the body and brain to work together as a team. For instance, when dancing and moving to music, children develop better motor skills.

Like language development, toddlers develop their musical skills through imitating and memorising rhythms and tones of songs such as clapping to a beat and singing in tune.

Dance

In addition to providing physical benefits, early childhood dance programs using creative play also help to develop greater emotional understanding and improved social skills. Through creative movement activities, children learn to express emotions through their body’s movements (including facial expressions) and this, in turn, allows them to more easily identify these emotions in others.

Dramatic play – Expressive language

Dramatic play teaches and encourages expressive language. Children are motivated to communicate their wishes to their peers and therefore must learn to speak from the perspective of their pretend roles. Dramatic play is often a very comfortable place for children who are shy or withdrawn to participate in a group.

Dramatic play enhances child development in four major areas:

  • Social/Emotional – develop the skills they need to cooperate with their peers
  • Cognitive – develop literacy skills.
  • Language – personal vocabulary grow as they begin to use new words appropriately.
  • Physical – develop motor skills