I don't know about you, but as a mom, I'm always looking for ways to give my kids the best possible foundation for learning and for eventually becoming successful adults. 

art museumThe world we live in these days seems to make it harder than ever, between the freely available pornography on the internet and the lack of family structure that many "modern families" experience. 

But there are things you can do to help your kids to improve their ability to learn - and as I always tell my kids, intelligence isn't what you know - it's your ability (and desire) to learn and retain information. 

As it turns out, in addition to music, participating in artistic activities offers a veritable cornucopia of benefits to kids and their neurological development.

According to the School Superintendent's Association, neural connections are being made at a rapid rate in the brain's early years. During the brain's early years, neural connections are being made at a rapid rate.

"Much of what young children do as play — singing, drawing, dancing — are natural forms of art," according to recent information published by the organization. "These activities engage all the senses and wire the brain for successful learning."

And when kids enter school, art education should be continued, studies say. Various areas of the brain are developed as the child learns songs and rhymes and creates drawings and finger paintings, and the sharing of their artwork even enhances social skills.

And, according to Harvard researcher Eric Jensen: “Research from the studies discussed ...and the experience of countless classroom educators support the view that visual arts have strong positive cognitive, emotional, social, collaborative, and neurological effects.”

So, with that in mind, I offer up something that I hope will benefit you and your kids - 12 easy-to-implement art activities they'll love.

Stimulate their brains with 12 art activities! 

Like I said, exposing children to the arts helps them to develop new skills and think creatively.

Maybe your kids' school has an excellent arts program, and if so, you're golden - but it doesn't hurt to add in a little extra educational goodness to their lives, especially for kids who take the summers off. And when it's fun? Even better. 

While the arts program in your kids' school might be stellar, remember that many schools with tight budgets struggle to provide access to arts program. Even if your child's school can afford field trips to museums, large group outings tend to be full of distractions - and how often does your child get individual attention from his or her teacher? 

Good news, though. Here's how you can use culture to connect with your kids and prepare them for a more rewarding life. Try these strategies for art lessons that your kids will love.

Art Activities for Kids During Museum Visits

When you drop into a museum these days, you'll probably see crowds more interested in taking selfies than looking at the paintings. Studies show that the more time visitors spend on their electronic devices, the less they remember about the art.

Show your kids how to have a richer experience:

1. Keep it brief. Children tend to have limited attention spans. Leave them wanting more. Go home before they become tired and bored.

2. Assign homework. Your outings will leave a deeper impression if you prepare in advance. Older youths can read about an exhibition. Even small children can look at images on a website or brochure.

3. Talk it over. Schedule time for discussion after your trip. Ask your child what works they liked and why.

4. Bring a sketchpad. Most museums allow you to carry in small sketchpads and pencils. Drawing is an excellent way for children to examine a work closely and refine their motor skills.

5. Stop by the gift shop. For more fun, do a little shopping. Gift shops have children's sections with educational toys, books, games, and craft materials.

6. Check the calendar. Learn what's in store in the weeks ahead. You may be able to take your kids to films and hands-on workshops in addition to attending the usual exhibitions.

7. Buy a membership. If your budget is tight, check if the museum has hours with free admission. You can also save money and support your local institutions by purchasing a family membership so you can visit as often as you want.

Art Activities for Kids in Between Museum Visits

Naturally, you'll be spending more time outside of the museum even if you're a devoted member. Look for additional activities you can do at home or in your child's school.

1. Encourage personal interests. Drum up enthusiasm by showing your kids how the arts tie into subjects they are already passionate about. Maybe your daughter will be fascinated by Degas' horses or ballerinas.

2. Engage in crafts. Gather together to do crafts. Recycle household objects or drop by an art store for supplies. Browse for ideas online or invent your own projects.

3. Celebrate holidays. If daily responsibilities leave little time for the arts, the holidays can remind you to include more play time in your routine. Assemble your own Christmas tree ornaments or paint Easter eggs.

4. Volunteer at school. Ask your child's teacher how you can support art programs in the classroom. Volunteer to teach a session or donate old magazines and auction catalogs for collages.

5. Start a library. The more your children know about art, the more eager they'll be to continue their studies. Art books can be expensive, but you can find bargains by shopping for used books at your library or online. You could also exchange books with other families to split the costs.

Share cultural experiences with your kids to brighten their future and draw your family closer together. The arts can help children to perform better at school while they build their confidence and creativity.

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