World Art Day is Time to Celebrate Art and ADHD

painting for art day
Kids With ADHD Benefit from Art Education

Since 1998, every April 15th has been cause to celebrate World Art Day.

It’s a day devoted to the many roles the fine arts have played in history and culture and in providing boundless opportunities for healthy creative expression.

The day serves as a wonderful reminder to join in celebrating the importance of arts education, which is packed with benefits to offer our children.

In fact, kids with ADD and ADHD may find special benefits in art education, which can play a therapeutic role in managing some of their symptoms. (Source)

Boosts Concentration

It’s certainly no surprise to parents that a classic symptom of both ADD and ADHD is difficulty remaining focused.

One study of the effects of arts education on critical thinking abilities demonstrated that kids who participated in a school visit program on art analysis showed stronger critical thinking skills, utilizing improved focus. (Source)

Helps Encourage Good Decisions

The heart of good decision making is careful consideration and critical thinking, which can be difficult for kids with ADD or ADHD who may find impulses tough to control.

Studies show that when children are given the opportunity to freely express themselves through art, they learn to think outside the box and may be able devise more thoughtful, original, and productive plans when making decisions than those without that opportunity. (Source

Strengthens Resilience to Criticism

Nobody loves to be criticized, but it can be especially tough on kids dealing with ADD or ADHD.

Managing their symptoms can come with some scholastic and personal difficulties, and they may find themselves on the receiving end of constructive criticism that’s tough to process when they feel like they’re doing their best.

Arts education is a place where positive and critical feedback can both be safely received and processed, and children can begin to see criticism as an important feedback tool rather than feeling attacked.

Wondering how to get started on arts education at home?

  • Encourage time spent regularly in creative pursuit, whether it’s painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, dance, singing, theatre, or something else entirely — this can be self-directed or educationally-driven
  • For ADD or ADHD kids, provide gear that helps them stay organized, like easels with plenty of storage and stacking boxes that keep supplies consolidated and easy to access
  • Though this arts education day isn’t suitable for museum visits, virtual tours of many art-centric institutions worldwide are available online and can serve as a tool for exploring art history

The advantages mentioned are only a handful of the ways that arts education can benefit our kids.

The experts over at We The Parents put together a useful infographic detailing 51 study-backed benefits of arts education, and it’s definitely worth a read.

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