I was always an 'artsy' kid. I guess being crafty has been engrained in me since childhood. It wasn't until I began to raise my own family that I really understood the impact art had on my emotional and physical wellbeing.
There are so many benefits of practicing art as children and adults and it's more than just a stress reducing hobby, as most people think. The expression and creativity involved in art is an essential piece in building our brains. It's primarily responsible for helping to form the right brain, or the emotional and intuitive brain.
In the 'Left Brain - Right Brain' theory, it is thought that each side of your brain controls different types of thinking and that people tend to lean either 'Right' or 'Left'. A 'Left Brained' person is thought to be more logical, analytical, and objective, whereas a 'Right Brained' person can be more intuitive, contemplative, and subjective. Subjects that fall heavily on Left Brain skills such as math and reading are natural for us to encourage our children to practice. "How many apples do you see?" These subjects are more heavily focused on in schools too.
But what about our Right Brain? Our Right Brain is responsible for visualization, imagination and feeling. It's this part of the brain that is primarily used for creating art. With school budget cuts, it is also the brain that is suffering as art and music are typically the first subjects to get the boot.
For the brain to grow and develop efficiently, both our 'Left' and 'Right' Brains must work together. How can we develop full brains if were pushed to focus solely on the facts, figures and numbers?
Through art and creative activities we can stimulating our Right Brain to help strengthen the connection between both sides thus helping us to develop the full potential of the mind.
If I haven't convinced you yet on the importance of giving your child a crayon, know this; practicing art not only helps your child be creative, but it allows them to have an open mind. They are better able to observe, interpret and express feelings, and be open to multiple points of view! Art also helps children build a sense of community, encouraging them to collaborate well with others, it builds confidence and pride, and exposes them to cultural difference.
Arts and crafts don't have to cost a lot either! Many of the craft projects we do can be assembled from simple household items or by making a quick trip to your local dollar store.
Check out some of our favorite crafts through these Pinterest pages!