Sticky glue hands, colored hands, glitter galore, and paper shavings all over! This is what it can look like after you complete art projects with your child. As a parent, you probably are thinking, “Wow, this is a mess, I don’t want to clean this up” and find yourself, in the future, trying to avoid doing art projects at home to prevent the inevitable mess. Well, I am here to tell you that performing art activities is a great way to promote language skills, and will provide some tips and tricks on how to utilize art projects in the home to gain the most out of language learning, and to actually value that inevitable mess at the end!
- Develop expressive language (i.e., how a person communicates with others)- Whether the art task be a coloring book, Popsicle stick picture frame, or a painting hand print, art is full of expressive language possibilities. You can embed vocabulary into the project (e.g., identifying the art materials used), include quantity concepts (e.g., how many of the materials do we need), and even spatial concepts (e.g., glue the stick on top of the picture into the project). The possibilities are endless!
- Develop receptive language (i.e., a person’s ability to understand information)- This is an area of language that can also be included with any art activity. You can have your child follow one to three step directions (e.g., give me the scissors and throw away the scraps), pronouns (e.g., I will get the scissors and you get the glue), attributes (e.g., We need blue paper, green markers, and yellow glitter). Believe it or not, the possibilities here are also endless!
- Develop sequencing skills- Art projects are a great way to teach sequencing. You can give your child oral directions, video models of the project, written directions, or picture directions. Start small and have them sequence one to two steps and build up as successes are achieved. This is a great way to help teach the concept of first to last and encourage development of early executive functioning skills.
Art can be a great way to spend time with your kids and encourage language development. Enjoy the teaching opportunities these fun and motivating, yet messy, activities can provide and appreciate the mess they leave behind!
*This information is provided for informational and educational purposes only and should not be used to replace consultation with your doctor or qualified healthcare professional.