Unlike math, science and reading—all highly-emphasized subjects in today's school curriculum—the arts utilizes a separate area of your child's brain: the right hemisphere. This part of the brain is tasked with some of the most compelling features of everyday life, like the ability to create, identify intuition and gauge other's emotions, all of which are helpful for becoming a successful adult.
If you want your child to reach their full potential, help develop their interest in the arts.
Plan a Family Trip to the Art Museum1 of 8
One of the best ways to introduce your child to the arts is to plan a trip to your city's art museum. Most art museums, especially in large metropolitan areas, are free to the public, making this a budget-friendly trip for the whole family.
Allow your child to be whisked away to other worlds as they gaze at ancient sculptures or mid-century oil paintings. Instead of showing them where to go, let them lead you to what draws their attention. Read the descriptions to them and ask them what they think it means.
Many museums also organize activities specifically tailored towards kids, so make sure to check the museum's schedule ahead of time to take full advantage.
Make an Arts and Crafts Station at Home2 of 8
Rainy Saturday? Time to bust out the arts and crafts.
Kids are natural creators (they have less "rules" than adults), which means you don't need to exhaust yourself by putting together anything too complicated. A simple workspace equipped with glue, construction paper and kid-friendly scissors will be more than enough to get their creative juices flowing. A paint set works great here, too—just make sure to cover the table with newspaper first.
Running low on supplies? Depending on the age of your child, a coloring book with crayons or a jar of Play-Doh are also easy, on-hand options. The key is to simply give children a chance to express themselves.
Go to a Local Theater Production3 of 8
Your child loves watching TV and movies, so why not get them a little closer to the action?
Buy tickets to your next local theater production (just make sure it's a show you're comfortable with them seeing). Watch how they marvel at the costume changes, accompanying music and action on stage.
If it's an available option, stay for the meet and greet after the show. Your child will love seeing the characters up-close.
Sign Your Child Up for a Music Class4 of 8
Some facets of the arts, like music, take special instruction to master. This is where classes are essential, especially if your child is interested in an instrument you have never played.
Sign your kid up for a class of their choice, and remember not to force anything. Though you may be secretly hoping they take an interest in classical piano (a parent can dream, right?), there's a chance they may go for the drums.
Support their interests in music, whatever they may be.
Pick Up a Kid-Friendly Cookbook5 of 8
The arts aren't just theatre, music and dance. Culinary arts is another area where your child can create, interpret and analyze—plus, it has real-world value for adulthood
Visit a bookstore with your child and pick out a kid-friendly recipe book that appeals to you both. Commit to trying one recipe each week. Their skills in the kitchen will improve, building both confidence and problem-solving abilities, and they will be creating something from scratch that nourishes them.
Have Post-Dinner Dance Breaks6 of 8
Does your kid always have way too much energy after dinner? Burn it off with a dance break.
Even the simple act of swaying their body to the rhythm, and expressing emotions like joy through movement, is a fundamental component to dance. Don't be afraid to let loose, too. For young and old alike, dance is a great way of being present in your body.
If your kid lives for these post-dinner dance sessions, it might be time to look into something more structured.
Change Bedtime Story to Bedtime Poetry7 of 8
Instead of reading Horton Hears a Who for the tenth time, consider switching up the Dr. Seuss rhymes with formal poetry.
It may seem like a risky move, but children often gravitate towards the playfulness of language that is inherent with poetry. Just like the rhymes of Dr. Seuss, poetry can be fun, exciting and lively.
Don't know where to start? The Academy of American Poets has a great resource of poems just for kids.