Are your children complaining that they have nothing to do over the holiday period? Do you have trouble tearing them away from the Cartoon Channel every Saturday?
If you have answered "yes" to these questions then you might have to consider other options. Sending them to art classes might be a good idea.
Recent studies have shown that introducing your child to art is not only fun but can actually play a pivotal part in their development, ranging from improving creativity to increasing self-confidence.
"Art class extends beyond simply learning how to use a paint-brush. It also helps develop well-rounded students and improves their skills," said Elsie Evans, resident exhibiting artist and owner of Bangkok's latest art centre, Attic Studios.
"In a world dominated by computers and playstations, the value of creativity is often sacrificed. A creative thinker looks beyond the obvious options, not only in art but in other areas of life.
"The open-ended nature of art classes draws children into a creative frame of mind that can feed into other studies and hobbies."
According to research published by Americans for the Arts (http://www.artsusa.org), children who regularly participate in art classes are four times more likely to be recognised for academic achievement, four times more likely to take part in a maths or science fair, four times more likely to win an award for writing, and three times more likely to win an award for school attendance.
"Students who may not otherwise accomplish in mathematics, science or English can always celebrate their achievements in art class.
"There is no right or wrong answer in art class. Art class instills a sense of pride and accomplishment in students every time they finish a piece of artwork. This confidence boost can feed into other school subjects," Mrs Evans said.
The benefits of art class go far beyond just building confidence and creativity in a child. Classes for kids that focus on drawing and painting also cultivate their curiosity.
"Using a paint-brush to create a vision of the mind helps improve a child's hand/eye coordination and focus," Mrs Evans said.
"Fun and engaging art projects encourage students to focus on achieving the finished product."
Mrs Evans, a teacher and mother of four children, quickly saw the benefits of art classes.
After several years of teaching small classes around Bangkok, Mrs Evans saw the need to expand and opened Attic Studios - a large airy studio that provides art instruction to all levels and abilities, in a relaxed and friendly environment.
"I wanted to open a space where children can express their feelings and ideas in a more flexible format. Children who struggle with verbalising their inner thoughts are encouraged to find a suitable way to release them through art."
In this way, art class takes on a therapeutic value and provides the resources, environment, encouragement and support that the children need.
Just look at the overall benefits of art classes. They help boost children's imagination and creativity, and can help develop their fine motor skills, cognitive skills and problem-solving abilities.
Art can also be used as an outlet to express feelings.
"There really is no other activity more beneficial to the overall development of so many different areas in a child's life," Mrs Evans said.
About the author
- Writer: Mark Thomson