There is no doubt that creating art, in any form, can help children learn and become more self-confident and independent.
There is even evidence that enjoying creative activities can improve health.
It’s a wonderful feeling to be focused on a creation, in a world of your own, enjoying the solitude and immersed in your project.
When a group of people come together to create something, another kind of magic happens.
I see it all the time when working with people with disabilities.
A certain excitement and energy comes with working on group art projects
The shyer students find their voice and confidence. The more outspoken students relish in their ability to encourage and support their fellow artists.
Those who would normally not be interested in socialising with the others, or offering a helping hand, suddenly start volunteering to help those who need it.
It really feels like magic is happening. I can see them growing and gaining confidence by the minute.
BENEFITS TO CHILDREN IN GROUP ART PROJECTS
The same is true for children working together on group art projects.
It teaches them important skills that will, in effect, make them better adults.
It gives them the opportunity to focus on cooperation and communication, rather than competition.
Working in groups helps them to gain a better understanding of themselves, by gaining a better understanding of others.
It gives them an opportunity to appreciate other people’s skills and take pride in their own.
Working together is the perfect environment for exchanging new ideas and points of view.
Bit by bit, the children learn to give up on their vulnerability – they are all in the same boat. They learn to let go of a fear of failure.
This is the perfect atmosphere for children to learn about supporting and encouraging each other and gives them enhanced social skills and interactions.
Group art projects offer a great opportunity to fine tune negotiation and conflict resolution skills. They provide excellent preparation for the teamwork the children will be involved in later in life – in their jobs.
WORKING IN GROUP ART PROJECTS HELPS CHILDREN LEARN MORE
Researchers found that students working together on an art project participated more in thoughtful discussion than those who were working solo.
This study, conducted by the Institute of Education at London University, involved 4000 students between the ages of 5 and 14.
Researchers found the students were not only accomplishing the task but were focusing intently and demonstrating better communication skills.
Students who work in small groups learn more of what is being taught, retain the information better and appear more satisfied with their classes, according to an article from the University of Arkansas.
The article, Collaborative Learning: Group Work and Study Teams, claims children learn valuable skills by working together in groups.
By promoting interdependence, students learn how to motivate and encourage one another.
The environment of group art projects helps children build a sense of comradery and community as they work towards a common goal.
It gives them the chance to appreciate the differences of others and acts as a bridge between different social and cultural groups.
While pooling their knowledge and skills, the students are also learning how to develop their own voice and perspective in relation to others.
Group art projects encourage discussion and offer the chance to give and receive feedback, which develops better communication skills.
GROUP ART PROJECTS FOSTER A SENSE OF BEING PART OF SOMETHING SPECIAL
They also promote a sense of being part of something and establish a shared identity with other group members.
I remember the joy on my students’ faces when we completed a major artwork to celebrate their journey towards independent living.
This group of students, all with intellectual disabilities, kept voicing their concern they couldn’t do the work.
They had no faith in their own abilities and “I can’t” seemed to be their favourite phrase.
By the time we had completed the mural, not one of the students voiced that concern again.
More than the individual confidence the project gave them, it also fostered a sense of unity.
Friendships were forged where before they were mere acquaintances, even though they shared the same residence.
After this project was completed, the students insisted on showing their individual artworks to the others – something they had not wanted to do previously. This always resulted in much cheering and clapping.
This same group were responsible for making the beautiful mosaic spades featured in my post, Mosaic Madness – How to Create Masterpieces.
Together, they also made an enormous and beautiful dragon to use as a float for a fun day they were having.
Former students in my Wacky Workshops classes banded together to make a beautiful pop art version of the Mona Lisa (pictured at the top of the page).
She still graces the Wacky walls.
Each child painted different sections of the picture and when completed, they were put together.
The children were delighted with the end result. They each did a mini version to take home with them.
HOW TO PROVIDE GROUP ART PROJECTS FOR CHILDREN
So, how do you provide opportunities for your children to work on group art projects?
Why not have a play day with some of their friends? The next Wacky Wednesday project will give you some ideas for artworks.
For many years, I used Easter as an excuse to encourage group art projects with my family.
These projects ranged from dying eggs and using those and other crafts to make a table centrepiece, to making individual Easter pictures that were sewn together to make a wall-hanging.
Another way is to enrol your children in an arts program that encourages group art projects.
Wacky Workshops provides plenty of opportunities for students to work together.
This arts and craft school for children operates out of the lower Blue Mountains.
Right from the start students are involved in contributing to the Wacky welcome tree.
Sometimes we work together on temporary artworks, such as giant sand castles.
Visit The Wacky Workshops Page to learn more.
If you want to host your own group art event for kids, read my post, 7 Fun Ideas for Group Art Projects.
Follow the Wacky Workshops Facebook page for more inspiration.
Wishing you a gleeful week, Tamuria.