How art can be used to enhance child development

Learn about: How art can be used to enhance child development from Maria Elena Cruz,...
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How art can be used to enhance child development

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I've taught art for approximately fifteen years, so I've seen how art really develops a child. It helps them develop their perceptual skills, it helps them to vent in times when life may be a struggle because being creative just kind of takes your mind off the problem, and sometimes you just find yourself transposing those emotions on paper. At especially a very young age, I think it's important for the parents to sit down and just really pull out the crayons and markers, the paint, the pencils, the papers and just let them explore it and even if you're not an artist as a parent, you can always play around. It's a good time to bring out those stick figures and those basic shapes and have them add color to it and have fun. And when they see us have fun as parents, then they are more involved in free-flowing and that can develop into something far more beautiful.

Learn about: How art can be used to enhance child development from Maria Elena Cruz,...

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Maria Elena Cruz

Mom & Art Curator

Maria Elena Cruz is an active artist and curator, and the mother of two children, aged five and seven. She has taught art for 15 years, and believes that art can help children’s development and ease them through difficult times of transition – something she has experience with firsthand. During the day she teaches at Optimist High and in the evening she teaches watercolor, mixed media art, and figure drawing at UCLA. Maria also directs a project called, “The Pulse,” where she invites the community to paint to the rhythm of drums. Maria also recently began a nonprofit, Dial Art that serves communities in multiple ways through art. Her children are happily involved in most of her art programs. Her son, Clarence, age seven, has been learning to play the trumpet for two years and is involved with the science academy. Her daughter, Amara, age five, is involved with gymnastics and the science academy.

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