This week was EDCA’s Art Camp with Erin Mckeen, LMFT, ATR!

Art making with children is a fun and exciting way for the child to learn and grow.  In art making the child’s inner world of images, feelings, thoughts, and ideas are always of primary importance to the experience.  Art making can be encouraged and supported by an adult “helper” who can assist the child in exploring and mastering difficult materials and finding new ways to express themselves using the art supplies.  By helping the child give the art product personal meaning (i.e. finding a story, description, or meaning) the adult is able to support the child’s exploration of both materials and narratives about the art products created.

benefits of art making

  • Art products provide visual evidence of the course of development over time:  Artwork can provide a visual representation of the child’s stages of development that can be reviewed over time.


  • Art making enhances social skills:  Cooperation, respectful communication, taking turns, following directions, tolerating frustrations and making compromises are some of the pro-social skills that are practiced during the art making process.


  • Problem solving with the materials helps to develop creative faculties needed for problem solving in life:  Successful problem solving contributes to feelings of self-efficacy, builds self-esteem and self-confidence.


  • Art making assists self-regulation.  Art making can relieve anxiety and help children learn ways to self-regulate by engage in a positive way with their environment.


  • Art making facilitates externalization of emotional expression in healthy ways.  Art making provides a method of non-verbal communication that is very effective for expressing emotions and experiences, which are not easy to convey in words.


  • Art making Facilitates play, experimentation, and positive risk-taking:  Art provides an age appropriate form of play for children.  Art making encourages experimentation and positive risk taking by allowing the child an opportunity to discover new things through the creative process.


  • Contributes to self-esteem building, self-efficacy, empowerment and mastery.  Art making helps the child develop an experience of inner satisfaction rather than external approval.  Helping the child learn to trust themselves and find satisfaction in their own accomplishments.