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How to recognize artistic talent in your child:
All young children are naturally artistically talented. But without building on those natural skills, kids tend to lose them as they get older. In 1968, Dr. George Land conducted a longitudinal study that showed the percentage of creative abilities found at ages 3-5, 10, 15, and adult. His study showed that young children showed levels of creativity as high as 98%. By 10 years old, the same children had dropped off to 30%, and by 15 years old they had dropped to 12%.

“What we have concluded,” wrote Land, “is that non-creative behavior is learned.” Creativity gets diminished by the rules and regulations that children come in contact with in many academic learning environments. “Teaching to the test” is one such culprit.

A parent can change this trajectory by making certain their kids are exploring and activating their creative side as they get older, and art classes are a great way to do that.

How can a parent nurture their child’s artistic talent at home?

As a parent, there are ways you can nurture your child’s creativity:

  • Talk with your child about their art work: ask them open-ended questions (i.e. “Tell me about your picture!)
  • Describe what their art work looks like to you or how it makes you feel (i.e. “I love the long wavy lines of the grass in this landscape, it makes me feel calm and peaceful.”)
  • Ask your child about the process (i.e., “How did you get the torn paper in this collage to look like this?”)
  • Go to museums, galleries or sculpture parks and experience art with your child. Observe the beauty of the world around you, asking the same kinds of questions (i.e. “Tell me what you see?”; “This artwork makes me feel warm and happy, how does it make you feel?”; and/or “How do you think the artist made the cat in this painting feel so furry?”).

How does the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey’s Summer Art Camp work to further enhance a child’s talent?

Your child will work with trained, professional artists who love working with kids. We carefully plan our camp week to offer each child a fun experience where they create art using a variety of materials and techniques. The skills kids develop during camp include:

  • Learning new techniques in many different artistic mediums, and developing perseverance as new skills were practiced over and over, without giving up;
    Fearlessly tackling something new. Learning how “mistakes” can be happy accidents that provide opportunities to think on your feet, approach tasks from a new perspective, and problem solve;
  • Concentrating and focusing more deeply;
  • Learning ways to relieve anxiety and stress. Recent studies suggest that stress increases activity in the amygdala (which monitors emotions), while reducing the activity in the hippocampus (which is responsible for cognitive function). Creating art teaches children a way to reverse this. Art making helps kids feel in control, the stress melts away and their ability to explore the world and have higher functioning thinking is restored. In this way, art making has a positive effect on the executive function of the brain (the part that is responsible for planning, self-control, and waiting for reward); and
  • Expressing feelings and ideas through art, developing a sense of one’s own individuality and appreciating how friends and classmates might see the world in different ways.