Guest Blogger: Rabia Khan

Sports is for the body, while art is for the soul

After a long and busy day, how do you unwind?

Some of us like to indulge in short bursts of intense workouts to taste the rush of ‘feeling alive.’ While some of us prefer a calmer ritual of sitting by the window, nibbling spoonful's of ice cream and embracing the comfort of solitude.

As post-covid lifestyle had restricted most of us to the safety of our homes, we had plenty of time to look within ourselves and work on personal development. The opportunity to try out new activities and redefine our interests led to the rise of art serving as the perfect outlet. We have witnessed a trend of adult coloring books becoming increasingly popular.  

Perhaps in the past art was viewed as a thing of aristocratic leisure. Misconceptions and myths lingered that it is something sacred that only the chosen ones born with a silver paint brush in their mouth can delve in. However, that stigma is long gone and not only has art become common but is being recognized as a necessity. Art is a medium accessible to all and does not discriminate. It is beneficial to people of all ages, especially our young ones.

So exactly what role does art play in the development of children?

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Here are some reasons you should immediately introduce your tots to the magical world of dots:

  • Even before learning to speak, children use art as a medium to subconsciously understand and express their experiences. This fuels their observational and perceptive skills.
  • By encouraging the child to think outside the box it develops their problem solving skills.
  • There was a research done on kids that did artistic activities and those who did not. Results showed that the ones doing art scored better in academics compared to their peers.
  • By choosing the right brushes, readjusting their strokes, mixing colours to their preferred degree etc. Kids learn to how to take decisions early in life and have a higher confidence.
  • Kids learn patience and concentration by blocking out distractions to focus on their art.
  • Exposure to shapes, sizes, scale and comparisons teaches kids to count and helps their arithmetic proficiency.
  • By drawing lines of varying styles, it improves the child’s rhythm and flow leading to better hand-eye coordination.

Lastly, it activates the brain’s right side that thinks in images. It develops imagination, creativity, empathy and emotional intelligence. As opposed to the left side of the brain that thinks in words and deals with logic, sequence, facts and numbers.

In the long run, it is not our logical decisions but the emotional ones that bring us happiness.

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Watching my toddler niece eagerly filling in her coloring book, I could not help but feel a twinge of hopeful satisfaction. To test her, I pointed to a few things nearby and asked her to describe them.

Her responses were, “pretty flower”, “pretty cat”, “pretty chair” and “pretty cup.” Bless her little heart! Finally I pointed at myself with a curious grin. Her nose scrunched up in a disapproving frown as she uttered, “Lady not pretty.” I was left feeling unsure whether I should nurse my emotional damage or proudly celebrate her acute sense of observation thanks to her artistic endeavors.   


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