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Supporting the “A” in STEAM Learning

4 Fun Ways Building Toys Develop Art Skills

 

A push, led by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), to include the arts in the current curricular emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math, is steadily gaining momentum. This transition from STEM to STEAM is grounded in the potential for future artists and designers to drive innovation, just as scientists and mathematicians will (think Apple).

With the elimination of arts programs from many schools, the inclusion of art in the STEM curriculum is welcomed by many educators, not only for the way it compliments their traditional STEM lessons, but also for its inherent brain-boosting power. It’s common knowledge that art education develops creativity, self-expression, and confidence. But did you know that exposure to art is also proven to enhance cognitive abilities, as well?

As quoted in a recent article in Early Childhood News, “…the US Secretary of Education recently published a report on ‘The Value Added Benefits of the Arts,’ in which he states, ‘Studies have shown that arts teaching and learning can increase student's cognitive and social development. The arts can be a critical link for students in developing the crucial thinking skills and motivations they need to achieve at higher levels’ (Deasy, & Stevenson, 2002).”

If you’re following our blog you’re familiar with the ways that building toys help develop science technology, and math skills. Building toys also enhance art skills in four fun ways:

  • 1. Playing with Patterns – By definition, a pattern is a series that repeats at least twice. Patterns are commonplace in science, math, language, and of course, art. Block and building play is an easy, hands-on way to experiment with patterning with shapes, colors, sizes, and angles.

  • 2. Stack Your Way to Symmetry – Symmetry is a critical in art and is evident all around us in nature. It’s also a key concept for math, science, and engineering. Using Brackitz childrens building toys to design builds with identical components is a hands-on way to explore symmetry. Click for a Brackitz symmetry activity.

  • 3. Build In Some Visual Balance – Balance is a cornerstone of art and architecture. Encourage your young builders to examine and adjust their construction creations and begin to build a sense of visual balance.

  • 4. Consider the Overall Aesthetic – Learning to critique the overall aesthetic of an art piece is an important skill for any artist. By reviewing a Brackitz build for balance, symmetry, beauty, and use of color, kids are learning the important art of self-examination.

Brackitz is the only construction toy that lets kids design any structure they can imagine - anything. Our unique, connect-anywhere brackitz enables kids to create large scale, portable, 3-D structures – with no instructions or limitations – all while learning real-life math, science, engineering, architecture – and art! – skills.

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