Society celebrates sports and idolizes athleticism. But what happened to the play xylophones and guitars we loved as children? Often, they get tossed to the side for a baseball glove or a foam football. In a world centered on sports, how can we interest our children in the arts? A child’s choices are often more about exposure than interest. Here are five ways to introduce your children to the beautiful and rewarding world of the arts:

1. Explore All Music Genres

Children’s musical exposure is usually at the mercy of the parent’s or older sibling’s choice. Allow your child to explore their own musical taste. Until they have a chance to hear it all, their disinterest in music may be only a disinterest in a genre. Try letting them pick the music on a drive, or ask them if they like what you’re listening to. You’d be amazed at how strong of an opinion they have even at a young age.

2. Express Their Creativity

Art is about creating. Whether it’s sculpting with playdough, coming up with melodies on the piano, or dancing around on the carpet, support and embrace your child’s creative expression. The arts are also a perfect way to help a more reserved child express themselves. Perhaps your child has a hard time talking about his or her day -- if so, try suggesting they draw it.

3. Learn the Foundations

Children’s minds are just beginning to develop, so by introducing music notes, patterns, and techniques at a young age, you are giving them their best chance at succeeding in music if they want to pursue it as they grow. While it is never too late to learn an instrument, it is much easier at a young age. Guitars are a great starting instrument, and most older teens and young adults will be grateful for knowing how to strum a few chords. Find a variety of cheap and quality guitars for sale online to offer your child without breaking the bank.

4. Talent is Made, Not Born

Many parents and adults think that the arts are reserved for those children who are naturally gifted. The truth is that the arts take just as much practice and repetition as sports or academics. Some may pick it up quicker than others, but there is no hopeless case. Diligent practice is the key to success, so if your child is discouraged by a seeming lack of ability, work on ways to improve practicing and make it fun. Listen to your child, though, and don’t minimize their struggles. Work with them to develop helpful strategies. When it comes to practicing, one size doesn’t always fit all.

5. Don’t Underestimate the Range of the Arts

Theatre can be one of the best and undervalued ways to get your child started in the world of the arts. It’s perfect for any parent or kid interested in a team atmosphere and learning how to work with others. Musical theatre teaches notes, rhythm, and music, while theatre in general teaches responsibility, confidence, focus, and how to work under pressure. Theatre provides a rich community while strengthening the mind, voice, and body.

Provide foundational techniques for your child, but let them explore their options. Encourage expression, allow your child to change their mind, but teach them what it means to commit. Through it all, enjoy what they create. Teach your child the power of the arts from the beginning and they will soon learn to respect and even love the craft.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.