Doing art with foster children can help them form connections, process emotions, express themselves, develop creativity, and strengthen their confidence levels. To help understand these benefits further, we discuss them in more detail below.
Helps to Form Connections
When foster children engage in art, they’re sharing a unique piece of themselves with the rest of the world. Their work is full of experiences, feelings, and thoughts that they may be too uncomfortable to share verbally, which is something echoed by agencies like Orange Grove Foster Care. For example, a foster child may draw pictures of their family to help them feel more connected and part of the family. If you haven’t tried introducing art to your foster child’s schedule, we highly recommend doing so.
Foster children come from different types of backgrounds, and some of their experiences are highly traumatic. Unfortunately, this kind of experience can essentially “lock” a child inside their own mind. If you have a foster child who’s struggling to express themselves, then consider using art as a supportive tool. Practicing art can help a foster child learn more about their own talents, which may increase self-awareness and self-esteem.
Even though foster children may express their emotions through art, you need to understand that it will likely be abstract. For example, a child may draw a picture of a terrifying monster to depict fear or anger.
Helps Develop Creativity
Art allows foster children the opportunity to experiment with techniques, materials, and practice ideas. This may encourage them to think outside of the box, which can lead to innovation and improved problem-solving abilities. Additionally, art can help foster children to gain a nuanced view of the world
Builds Self-Esteem and Confidence
Some foster children lack confidence and self-esteem because of past experiences, but art can help to rewrite the story by strengthening both confidence and self-esteem. When a child masters new skills, they begin to feel a sense of control, which is essential for foster children. For example, a foster child struggling academically might create beautiful pieces of art and receive positive praise from teachers, which will help nurture belief in themselves.
Helps to Turn Surviving into Thriving
As a foster carer, you will come into contact with children who are simply ‘surviving’, but you have the tools at your disposal to transition this into ‘thriving’. For example, art can help foster children build a sense of community with those around them, especially when they do art in a group setting. Following a heightened sense of inclusion, foster children may have the confidence to start forming strong friendships and other relationships, which is an essential part of early childhood development.
Here are some tips to help your foster children thrive through art:
- Be a voice of encouragement and support.
- Provide them with plenty of art supplies and promote experimentation.
- Display their artwork to give them a sense of pride.
- Allow them to choose which type of art to do.
Art is a powerful tool that can help foster children thrive, and it’s always a fantastic way to help them form stronger connections by building confidence and self-esteem.