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In recent years society has placed a great deal of focus on the value of art and art education. Parents who want to expose their children to art related activities can use this trend to their advantage. The number of places that offer artistic performances and exhibits are growing each year. Community events that focus on the arts are also often geared toward family fun and enjoyment. Many places that were previously considered more adult oriented like museums are beginning to plan events with children in mind. There are also many ways to experience art at little or no cost for those on a budget.

 

Below are some great places Helene Goldnadel suggests for your kids to experience the true form of art:

 

Finding free local concerts that are kid oriented can be as easy as picking up a local news publication. Most newspapers have an entertainment section with listings of all the local concerts and festivals. Some communities even offer free outdoor concerts during the warmer months. Music is a great way to expose children to art and other cultures and festivals can be fun for the whole family. These events sometimes offer more than just music and will feature things like face painting and craft booths. Checking out the local theater is another option for parents looking for art related activities. There are many plays that are enjoyable for children. Going to the theater is a good way for kids to learn about different aspects of art that are outside of the realm of visual arts. A good rule of thumb according to Helene Goldnadel when planning trips to the theater is to take the age of the child into consideration. The theater may not be the best place for a child who has a hard time sitting still or is still too young to understand the theme of a play.

 

Another great place to go is the local museum. Many museums offer exhibits that are child friendly and some have classes and workshops created especially for children. The museum is also a great place for older children to develop art appreciation and learn about the different types of visual art. Many museums also offer discounted entry fees for children and students. Some museums even offer days that have free entry for promotional purposes. Checking the entertainment section of the local newspaper or looking online is great way to find out about promotional events.

 

School is another place where children can learn about the arts. Many schools offer extracurricular art programs for students. More progressive schools may have art classes integrated into the general curriculum. Schools that do not offer art programs will at least have access to information about different youth groups in the area. Check into organizations that promote art related activities for children. There are great deals of youth groups that have very low membership costs.

 

Bringing art into the home can be simple and low cost as well. Setting aside a couple of hours each week for art related projects is a good start. Making collages, playing with sidewalk chalk and coloring are all low cost ways to bring art into the home. Parents with more resources can arrange private art or music lessons for their kids. There are many places a parent can go to bring art into the life of their child. Using the resources available such as the Internet, schools and information in local publications is the first step in this direction.

 

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Music is an important part of life for both children and adults. We use music to relax, to motivate our physical activity, and simply because music is fun and enjoyable. An appreciation of music can increase creativity and the exploration of beats and rhythms provide an understanding of patterns. Music also promotes language skills and a budding appreciation of poetry.

 

Expose your child to a variety of music. Classical music offers clear, repetitive beats that are pleasing to children. There are a number of bands that only perform fun, educational music specifically for children. Introduce your child to the many different genres of modern music before he is old enough to select his personal favorite. Before the age of ten, most children have chosen a favorite style of music and may prefer not to listen to anything else.

 

Music encourages movement and is an important part of large muscle development. Play an assortment of upbeat music and dance with your child. Young children will not only quickly learn to adapt their movement to the beat of the music; they will imitate your dance steps and those they see on television. Dancing is a heart-healthy form of exercise and loads of fun to little ones.

 

Sing with your child on a daily basis. You musical participation will show your child music is important to you and will encourage him to participate as well. Simple children’s songs like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” are easy for children to remember and fun to sing. Singing increases vocabulary and general language knowledge. Don’t limit your singing to children’s songs. Sing along with appropriate music on the radio or CDs as well.

 

Incorporate music into reading time. Read stories about music and look at picture books with different instruments. There are some books that are based on songs and you can sing as you read. Musical games can also open a child’s eyes to the wonders of music. Start a song by humming the first few notes and have your child finish it. Let your child start the song and you can finish it.

 

Encourage young children to make their own music with rattles or a pot and a wooden spoon. Play along with the radio or sing a song as your child plays the beat. As your child gets older, introduce musical toys like shakers, tambourines, and percussion blocks. Preschool children can learn the simple finger notes of a recorder. Playing music helps small muscle development and allows your child to experiment with his personal expression through music.

 

Studies have shown that children, who learn to play an instrument, especially at a young age, perform better in both math and reading than those who have no musical training. Research suggests that music lessons for children as young as 3 and 4 can increase reasoning skills and children who receive at least six years of musical instruction before age 12 have expanded vocabularies and mathematical skills compared to those with less training.

 

Helene Goldnadel observes that piano lessons are preferred by experts over stringed instruments for a child’s first musical experience. Playing the piano provides a child with a better understanding of musical theory and chord progression without the frustration of learning difficult fingering techniques.

 

Immerse your child in music and musical activities every day. Music is a rewarding and enriching part of our lives and is very beneficial to child growth and development.

 

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