Studies have overwhelmingly shown that participation in art education has a variety of benefits to children of all ages and backgrounds, and art-based summer camps are a great way to either begin or continue that experience throughout breaks in the traditional school year.
Reason 1: Keep That Summer Brain Fresh!
Whether painting, drawing, or sculpting, art camp activities can stimulate the brain in new ways that carry over to improvement in other non-art related subjects. In one study done through a program by the Guggenheim, artists went into schools to teach and help students create their own works of art. They found that students who participated in the program scored higher on six different categories of literacy and critical thinking skills than those who didn’t.
The act of creating art is a beneficial mental practice in itself. As Sarah Duda, Director of Client Services and an art instructor at Museo Art Academy explains, “Art often requires that children make something out of nothing. Whether that is a blank piece of paper, or a pile of mixed media materials, every step of creating engages children’s imagination and problem solving skills.”
Reason 2: Learn New Skills and Improve Existing Ones.
Art camps can provide children with the opportunity to stretch themselves in a low-stakes environment. While your child may not be ready to commit to signing up for months of pottery class, taking a one-day pottery camp, like the ones held at Museo Art Academy every Friday during the summer months, can be an excellent introduction to working with the potter’s wheel and high-fire clay that he or she may not be able to experience outside of a long-term class.
For children who already love making art in some form, art camps can be the perfect time to develop those skills that they may not get time for or instruction in during the regular school year.
Reason 3: Engage in Social Benefits of Making Art.
Although almost any camp will have some sort of social benefits, more specific-focus camps, like art-based camps, allow children to create deeper friendship bonds with those who share their interests. Allowing children to interact with others who are interested in the same things they are affirms their choices and cultivates a supportive community in which to grow.
Making art also provides a great way for some children to express themselves in social situations in a way that they may not feel they can otherwise. “I’ve witnessed so many quiet children in our camps open up and absolutely blossom in this environment.” Ashley McDaniels, an instructor and Museo Art Academy’s Director of Programs and Facilities observes. “When you’re making art, you’re taking your inner thoughts and feelings and putting them on the outside in a safe way that allows others to see and to interact with that expression of yourself. When students see that they can be themselves and receive positive reinforcement and acceptance of that self, they can be open with others, driving a more solid connection with others.”
Reason 4: Build Your Child’s Confidence
As art camps present a safe place to successfully problem solve and develop new skills, these activities have a direct correlation to building self-esteem and developing confidence. “In creating art, you face criticism and challenges that appear daunting,” Duda says, “but you have no choice but to find solutions in order to move forward. The teacher can guide a student in this process, but really, it’s up to the individual artist to make their own artistic choices and solve the problems he or she encounters. As an artist myself, I know that the process can be scary, but also really rewarding as it comes with a boost of confidence in your own skills and decision-making processes. You learn to trust yourself.”
Art-based camps are a great opportunity for children to push themselves and grow in many different ways over those summer months. Museo Art Academy offers a wide range of art camps at their Issaquah studio for campers to choose from – drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, and pottery, with a new project every week. Museo Art Academy provides a place for children to create, learn, and thrive. Learn more about Museo Summer Camps and sign up your child here.
Tishman, Shari, Dorothy MacGillivray, and Patricia Palmer (2002), “Investigating the Educational Impact and Potential of the Museum of Modern Art’s Visual Thinking Curriculum: Final Report.” In R. Deasy (Ed.), Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, Washington, DC: AEP