Art is not just child’s play. A daily dose of art (in any form) will keep your body healthy, mind strong, and your brain growing! Imagine that! Engaging in art (as play, without judgment) is crucial for a healthy and fulfilling life throughout our life span (Dr. Daniel Siegel, 2014).  Bob Steele (1997) agrees, “We should not fail to recognize the significance of drawing to emotional health.“ And art (in all it’s forms; dance, music, theatre, drama) isn’t just healthy; it promotes skills important in academic and life success.

Art helps in the development of many skills (most of the skills are outlined in the image above). The arts improve health (not only as a source of play), but arts can focus healthy development in fine motor skills, dexterity, and spatial acuity. Art is used as occupational therapy for sensory integration and sensory awareness. It helps develop the skills required to keep us focused and solve problems. “The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.” (Eisner, 2003).  The arts help develop skills for personal expression and when used to identify and express feelings, it becomes a medium through which emotional intelligence can flourish.

The making of art facilitates the development of many skills because it requires many skills, thus challenging the artist to go beyond their perceived capabilities. In a supporting environment, a person’s level of achievement is limitless. That is one of the pieces explaining how art teaches the many skills in the image above. In my next blog, I will continue this discussion by tackling the question of how it influences physical health.

References:

Bob Steele (1997) Draw me a Story: AN ILLUSTRATED EXPLORATION OF DRAWING-AS-LANGUAGE. PEGUIS PUBLISHERS, Manitoba, Canada

Daniel J. Siegel (2014) Brainstorm: THE POWER AND PURPOSE OF THE TEENAGE BRAIN. TARCHER/ PENQUIN PUBLISHERS, New York, USA

Eisner, Elliot W. (2003) http://ed.arte.gov.tw/uploadfile/periodical/429_7_25.pdf