Wednesday, August 24, 2016

5 Ways to Use the Creative Arts to Develop Language Skills

dad teaching son to play drums

When you go to an event with your family, do you ever wonder how you can make the most of it?  We attended Kids Fringe (the kid and family friendly version of a local art festival called Fringe Festival!) and had a great time! I used the artsy activities to build language skills and you can, too!

Now, you may be thinking: "art seems like a totally right brain (the creative side) activity and language seems totally left brain (the logical side)."  But you can help your child develop language skills while you engage in some great art activities!

Try some of these the next time you go to a festival or even a craft project at home!

Pottery! (Describing with adjectives and adverbs)

mom and son learning about pottery making

It's fun to get your hands messy and make something cool (and useful, too!). We used a lot of describing words to talk about the wet clay, messy hands and watching the blob spin fast. We described how to interact with the clay: bent finger, push gently, squeeze firmly and watch patiently!

Puppets! (Social skills - problem solving and point of view)

girl with DIY puppet

I think the little envelope puppets that we made are some of my most favorite make-it and take-it crafts we've ever done! We worked on problem solving (I need the glue but someone else has it) as well as social skills like waiting our turn and using manners to request. We also practiced talking from another "person's" point of view. We'd ask the puppet questions and then answer like the puppet would! So fun!

Dress Up! (Vocabulary and speaking to an audience)

little boy exploring an antique phonelittle girl creatively playing a violin with a plastic sword

little girl with Marti Gras mask

One of the areas that we used lots of vocabulary and our imaginations was the dress up area. They had tons of random clothing and prop pieces placed out for us to use. The kids dressed up and pretended to be all sorts of different characters. We pretended to be onstage announcing the upcoming activities. This is the beginning of understanding presence and projecting voices. They picked up an antique phone and pretended to call different family members.

Drawing! (colors and following directions)

little girl learning to draw by following step-by-step directions

We found a drawing table where there were quite a few different things to draw. Each paper had step-by-step directions on how to draw the object. We had the opportunity to select the object of our choice and there were many different writing instruments available. I know that many children are reluctant writers and sometimes just giving them the opportunity to write with whatever they want can make a difference! We talked about the colors as we drew. Green wings, yellow beak, pink body!

Musical Instruments! (listening and the value of practice)

dad teaching daughter to play drums

When we couldn't get enough of the creative fun, we headed over to a local music store and had fun trying out new musical instruments! The drums were our favorite! Billy played drums for years so he gave the kids a mini-lesson. We also got to see some beautiful horns, really awesome electric guitars and some fancy stringed instruments!

young girl learning to play drumsdaughter watching dad play drums

We also had the opportunity to enjoy some culinary arts (well, that might be stretching it a bit! We had tortilla and meat rollups) at an impromptu picnic in the grass in the shade!

brother and sister at an impromptu picnic

I'd like to highly recommend Kids Fringe to all families in the Central Florida area next year! This was our second time and we've loved it both times! Pack a picnic and enjoy your day building language skills while you enjoy the arts!

5 Ways to Use the Creative Arts to Develop Language Skills |

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