How does coloring or drawing affect a child’s brain?
Written by Mom Mia
Child Psychologist / Cognitive Psychology
I assume that each of you has already heard many times about the beneficial effect of drawing and coloring on brain activity. But what exactly this healing effect is manifested in is not quite clear. So what does neuropsychology say about it?
1. Art helps reduce anxiety
The visual arts are a powerful resource for mental and physical well-being. From the point of scientists view, it has been proven that drawing or coloring has a stabilizing effect on both children and adults. In the process of creativity the level of personal and situational anxiety is reduced, increasing self-reflection and self-awareness, which is beneficial for changes in behavioral and thinking patterns. And as a cognitive psychologist, I often use art therapy drawing with children as a way to help them deal with their own fears. Here you will find Printable Cute Monster Coloring Pages for Free.
2. Hand develops the brain
A child’s brain is very plastic, its main task is development, so it is at this age that neural networks are most easily formed. In adults this process is a bit more complicated, since most behaviors are learned habits and patterns. The human brain is clearly divided into areas, each with a specific function. And at the moment of drawing the brain works in multitasking mode. The frontal lobe is responsible for planning – the choice of the future drawing, materials (paints, felt-tip pens, pencils), the object to draw, the color scheme, etc. The temporoparietal area of the brain is responsible for creativity and imagination. Creativity improves connections between brain neurons.
Thus, the child psychologist can quite simply check the level of development of the child – the level of development of motor skills points to the corresponding level of development of the child’s brain. That is, the more confident the child is in handling colored pencils and the more details in his or her drawings, the higher the level of development of cognitive abilities is observed in the child.
Research shows that art activities develop brain capacity in early childhood. Art engages children’s senses in open-ended play and supports the development of cognitive, social-emotional and multisensory skills.
3. Great Discoveries
Creativity for a child is a form of learning about the world, self-expression, getting rid of stress and fear, distraction from negative emotions. In the creative process a child makes important discoveries, experiments, creates something new. Creative activity also develops the imagination. Without the development of children’s imagination, without filling the child with vivid impressions, there may be the most banal difficulties in learning, and then in later life. For some reason we rarely think about it, but for productive work in many professions requires a well-developed imagination.
The first manifestations of creative activity can be noticed quite early, from as early as six months of age, if, of course, the right conditions are created for it. If you give your child the freedom of activity with paints, you will notice how much interest he or she has in manipulating colors and lines, developing imagination and independence.
How to create conditions for free children’s creativity?
A small child will be interested in everything. But it is best to start with drawing.
Up to a year old, a baby is interested in paints. They are bright and leave a mark everywhere. True, the role of paint can play mush, jam, juice, and instead of a brush your fingers are quite suitable. This is not an easy period in the lives of parents, but the main thing is not to kill the desire to drawing. Draw simple lines together and watch the child’s free creativity.
From one to three years of age, a child can already draw within the confines of the sheet. He is not yet reproducing the world around him, but in his scribbles and blotches, he can recognize his mom, dad, friends, home and much more. The choice of colors is by mood. At this period, the baby is already beginning to build and make something, and the child’s brain and body are actively responding to music.
From three to five years, the child enjoys any type of creativity. He likes everything, but not getting a quick result, he easily “gives up”. Therefore, you need to choose available types of art for children under the guidance of experienced teachers. Sophisticated arts should be left for later. At this age, the ability to theatrical art, to imitate the lives of significant adults begins to emerge. At this age it is important to offer children opportunities for technical creativity. Modern industry offers a large variety of LEGO constructors, robots, and modeling kits.
After five years, it usually becomes clear what is more interesting to the child. Teaching creative techniques should be unobtrusive. Every success of the child should be encouraged, but deficiencies should also be noticed and discussed. The child should develop an adequate attitude toward his or her own creativity and objective self-assessment.
Creative development can take place both at home and in special developmental studios. But no matter where the child is engaged, the support of the people closest to him or her is extremely important. Praise, constructive criticism, help and praise again – it is the task of parents. We are the first spectators, fans and critics. Through a process of trial and error, the child is sure to find his or her own! Remember this and do not reproach your child for the loss of interest and money spent. Be genuinely interested in his successes, support and help.