A close look at what constitutes the best kind of experience for infants and young children leads quickly to the arts. From a baby’s first lullaby, to a three-year-old’s experimentation with finger paint, to a seven-year-old’s dramatization of a favorite story, developmentally appropriate arts experience is critical. For all children, at all levels, the arts play a central role in cognitive, motor, language, and social-emotional development. The arts motivate and engage children in learning, stimulate memory and facilitate understanding, enhance symbolic communication, promote relationships, and provide an avenue for building competence. The arts are natural for young children. Child development specialists note that play is the business of young children; play is the way children promote and enhance their development. The arts are a most natural vehicle for play. (Bruce, 1998, p. v)
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