Laura Tobi

Ceramic Sculpture and other art forms

Benefits Children Get From Participating in Art Activities


This week, once again, I encountered a parent whose child loves art, but because the child is a boy the parent does not believe art is an activity he should be engaged in. I find the same problem over and over again. The child loves the art activities, but the parent thinks his son should be focused on sports. The same is true of parents that won’t encourage their kids, girls or boys, to participate in art activities because their children aren’t “artistic” enough or “talented” enough.
In countless opportunities I have tried to find the right words to express what I think are the benefits children derive from participating in art activities. I found the following very clear explanation in the web site of The Art Institute of Chicago during the summer. Here is what they said:

“…We believe nurturing creative potential stands at the center of preparing children for life. Whether a child develops into an artist or scientist, encouraging the creative process is very important in their early educational years. In our workshops children learn to discover, explore, and imagine in their own unique ways as we help them on a path to becoming the creators, innovators, and problem solvers of the future…

… we motivate children to use their creativity by engaging in unique and inventive art making and problem solving projects. We guide them to discover that solutions are not right or wrong but rather their own…”


  • Do you encourage your children to participate in art activities?
  • What kind of activities are they?


Posted 13 years, 4 months ago at 12:07.

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Isi’s Creative Process: Giving Children the Freedom to Create as Children


The creative process needs time. This is true for all, no matter what your age or your area of expertise.
Isi is 4 years old. She loves to work with clay. This particular shape was the first step to a special creation, all of her own. She spent about an hour pounding, rolling, poking holes in the clay. The result is in the picture above. It did not seem much at the time, but she said it was a bridge and asked me to fire it.
I always trust my little artists, and have fired all sorts of little odd shapes they come up with. This is their original work. We need to respect it.


The picture above shows what Isi created the very next class. I just placed the first shape in front of her on the table, and she started working. If you look closely you will recognize her first shape repeated several times to create this sculpture.


This is the creature that lives inside her sculpture. Imagination is at play.

Isi liked looking at it from the side. So maybe, when she grows up, if she gets the chance, she will make a really big sculpture, to show us adults her point of view.


Isi’s creative path reminds me to respect the creative process of each child. Don’t impose the adult point of view. Let the child create with the freshness of her age.

Posted 13 years, 4 months ago at 16:15.