The world has taken a much more serious tone in the last year. This is especially true for kids in a hospital setting where the pandemic is constantly front-of-mind. We know that there's a correlation between regular hospital visits and childhood stress. There are current studies on COVID-19 specifically and elevated stress among all youngsters, both in and out of the hospital.
For the kids who benefit from The Crayon Initiative's donated crayons, there has been extra pressure in the last year. Many are missing classes or moving to online learning in a full-time capacity. There are financial concerns and health concerns everywhere around the globe.
Art Relieves Stress
One reason we at The Crayon Initiative focus our donations on children in hospitals is because we know that most scientific and medical experts agree that artwork can be beneficial to relieve stress. There have been studies at Harvard that show that artwork can help aid in communication and improve cognitive development. Art is also used to help elderly people who may lose mental capacity because of advanced issues.
For children, art can be an excellent communication method when words are elusive. Kids get a sense of satisfaction in creating and completing artwork. They can use their crayons as tools to tell their stories, release their fears, and better cope with their environment.
Giving children permission to be artists works wonders for their own self-confidence. These tools are essential in building up a more emotionally and mentally healthy viewpoint for kids who are facing a lot of obstacles.
Ways to Encourage Expression
We like to encourage kids to express themselves with crayons and paper, but those aren't the only ways that kids can create. The nice thing about physical artwork is that kids don't have to be self-conscious about what they share. Drawing allows them to get out their ideas, fantasies, and even their fears. But they can use any method that they like. You might encourage them to paint, draw with chalk, or even create a diorama with a shoebox and items around the house.
Not every kid will be as receptive to using artwork as the next child. Some need permission and guidance. Some kids are less inclined to create a picture from thin air. They might work better with a model to look at or an assignment to draw. Then there are the kids who are really excited to let their imaginations run wild. You don't need to give them much direction. You'll be amazed at the fantastic scenery they can create with no help from the surrounding adults.
Creating art is more than a simple hobby. It's also a great building block to help people understand and overcome their own thoughts and fears.