Rock Solid Teen Center programming is only limited to the creativity and interests of the leadership team and our youth. Below is an article by Mindy Bartley which addresses the benefits of the arts for children with learning disabilities. Consider adding art programming to your youth center as a way to draw them in and positively impact their lives.
Manager, Rock Solid Store
We’re all aware of the benefits children gain from access to learning visual or performing arts. But did you know the arts can also be especially beneficial for children with learning disabilities (LD)? Research has shown that arts education can help children with LD improve their literacy skills, fine motor skills, and problem-solving abilities. Additionally, the arts can boost students’ self-esteem and confidence. Here are just a few of the ways that the arts can benefit children with learning disabilities:
Try Painting or Drawing
For children with LD, painting, and drawing can be great ways to express themselves. The act of putting brush to paper (or pencil to paper) can help kids to slow down and focus. Additionally, painting and drawing can help kids to improve their fine motor skills. And because there is no “right” or “wrong” way to paint or draw, this type of artistic expression can be especially helpful for kids who feel like they don’t quite fit in.
Learn to Play Music
Like painting and drawing, learning to play music can also help children with LD express themselves. In addition, music has been shown to boost memory and concentration. Learning to play an instrument can also be a great way for kids to build self-confidence and self-esteem. And because playing music is often done in groups, it can also be a great way for kids with LD to socialize and make new friends.
Learn to Dance
Dancing is another great activity for kids with LD. Dancing requires coordination, balance, and stamina, all of which are important for children with LD. Additionally, dancing is a great way for kids to get some exercise and relieve stress. And like playing music, dancing is often done in groups, which means it’s a great activity for socializing and building friendships.
Dive Into Theater
Theater provides yet another outlet for creative expression. Additionally, theater helps children with LD to develop through social-emotional learning. Theater also helps kids to build confidence and courage, two qualities that are essential for overcoming challenges in life.
Give Them Space
If your home doesn’t have a dedicated space for your child’s artistic pursuits, consider converting a spare room into an art studio or music room. Not only will this provide your child with more room to spread out and create, but it will also add value to your home should you ever decide to sell. Of course, if you don’t have extra room to spare, don’t worry. A simple corner of the living room or basement will suffice. The important thing is that your child has a space where they feel comfortable expressing themselves through art.
Start a Small Art-Focused Side Business
If you’re passionate about the arts and enjoy helping others learn about and enjoy them as well, then teaching may be the perfect side business for you. Not only will you get paid to do something you love, but you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping others learn about and appreciate the arts. Getting started is easy. Simply create a lesson plan and start offering classes in your local community center or church hall.
As your business grows, you may want to consider setting up an LLC (limited liability company). This will protect your personal assets in case your business is ever sued. If you’re unsure about how to start an LLC in Indiana, a formation service can walk you through setting up your business.
The arts offer countless benefits for children with learning disabilities. Through activities like painting, drawing, playing music, dancing, theater, etc., children with LD can express themselves creatively while simultaneously developing important skills. So if you’re looking for ways to support your child’s creativity, help them develop important life skills, and maybe even start your own side business, look no further than the arts!