The benefits of the arts, play and creativity in children’s development

It is said that the human brain consists of 2 parts, the left and the right hemisphere.  The left brain is used in logical thinking and analytical processes.
The right brain is used in emotional perception, intuition and creativity.  It is the right brain that is mainly used when a person is involved in creative activities.

It is scientifically shown that when particularly gifted children solve problems, there is increased electrical activity in both hemispheres.  It appears that for the brain to function with the most efficiency, the two hemispheres of the brains must work together.  This requires exposure to a range of tasks that incorporate logical thinking and the arts/creativity.

Children are regularly exposed to activity that develops logical thinking and analytical processes, and children must also be exposed to the arts, creativity and free-play as their cognitive skills mature – so that their right brain will be developed as the left develops also.

It is important that children have access to artistic opportunities to be able to learn to have creative problem solving abilities and critical thinking.
Parents and educators can also be creative in how the child accesses such opportunities; providing ready access to playful art tasks and equipment is a good starting point.  So whatever their age, get those paintbrushes, crayons, glitter glues out ready and let your children develop in their own creativity  …..

The New York Centre for Arts Education lists some of the benefits of exposing children to the arts:
•    Your child learns to think creatively, with an open mind
•    Your child learns to observe and describe, analyse and interpret
•    Your child learns to express feelings, with or without words
•    Your child practices problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, dance, music, theatre and art-making skills, language and vocabulary of the arts
•    Your child discovers that there is more than one right answer, multiple points of view
•    School can be more fun when playing can be learning
•    Your child learns to collaborate with other children and with adults
•    Arts introduce children to cultures from around the world
•    Your child can blossom and excel in the arts.  Even with physical, emotional or learning challenges, can experience success in the arts
•    Arts build confidence – because there is not just one right way to make art
•    Arts build community

Author – Sarah Muller – Managing Practitioner