From balance beam to easel: how gymnastics helps with art

Child painting at easelIs your fridge covered in the latest masterpieces by your young artist? Are finger painting and Play-Doh among the favourite activities at your house?

March is Youth Art Month, and the importance of art in a child’s development is undeniable. Among the skills learned through art are creativity, confidence and problem solving.

But, did you know you can help your budding Emily Carr or Rodin by signing them up for gymnastics classes?


An artist needs fine motor skills that provide highly precise motor control. This brings all five fingers together to do detailed work, requiring minute, almost imperceptible movements, such as using a pencil to draw, painting on a canvas or molding clay into a figure.

Children develop muscle control and coordination in a structured manner, beginning at the head. Then from their torso to their legs, arms, hands and finally fingertips. This way the body knows that their large muscles can support coordination and movement before worrying about the more than 60 small muscles in the hand. (1)

And this is where PLAY Gymnastics is the perfect activity to help with fine motor skills.

Gymnastics classes include climbing, hanging, swinging, and many other high-energy activities. As they PLAY, they learn the fundamental movement skills that help with agility, balance and coordination.

While they learn the fundamental movement skills, they are building strength in their upper body and core muscles. They are also developing flexibility and agility needed to rotate the shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers. (1)

The result, the fine motor skills necessary to draw, paint and sculpt.

Long lasting effects

And not only may your child’s enjoyment in art increase as a result, it can have a positive effect on how they do in school. According to Sport Manawatu, “children who do not enjoy writing in school, often have poor upper body control and cannot support their body weight by their hands.” (2)

And since writing is on the cornerstones of education, a positive experience with writing results in confidence that transfers to other positive experiences later on at school and in life.

Get involved with gymnastics today

Check out the many programs at PLAY Gymnastics BC clubs throughout the province. Not only will your child have fun PLAYing, they will also come home with the fundamental movement skills needed for an active and creative life.

And maybe stock up on some frames for all of the masterpieces your child will create!


Sport Manawatu: News Item: Where are the monkey bars?
Moving Smart: “M” is for Monkeybars: Getting ready for writing, Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy

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