Artistic expression can be a wonderful tool to relax and strengthen the mind and body, just as yoga does. Teaching art to school children, I see how the art transforms their day, helps them relax, makes them feel good about themselves and instills a sense or pride and accomplishment. Since art is good for the body, mind, and soul – I like to refer to my classes as ‘yoga with colors.’
I hold my art class at the end of the regular school day. Some students are happily walking in from a fun day with classmates yet others are exhausted. Some over sugared from parties or worried about upcoming tests, but all await the big question of ‘who is the artist we are studying today and what project are we making?’
As we settle into the class and I put the music on we talk about the day’s artist. We discuss the select medium and colors we may choose. We talk about how we ‘see’ nature and the colors in the ocean or a still life. Our minds relax and the hour passes all too quickly. The children’s artwork becomes a creation from their own understanding, as unique and beautiful as each child. They create mini masterpieces, ready for framing!
Relaxed, the students become absorbed in their own little world of art, creating paintings they never imagined they could do. It always touches my heart when they look at me and say, ‘I’m so proud!‘
Viewing artwork can transport you to a world of different places. I have been in museums looking at a Rembrandt and imagined almost ‘smelling’ the oils in the painting. I think back at my father’s paintbrushes sitting in a glass by his easel and the colors of paint left on the rag. My children, as you would imagine, were all raised with a great appreciation of the arts. Studies show that colors, design and music not only broaden a childs creative outlook but help in the math and sciences as well.
This winter, take the time with your child to enjoy the beauty and creativity around you. Sure, you’ve got a lot to do and holiday and life tasks calling. But take the time to do your own ‘yoga’ – relax, find some balance, see the beauty in your world. Turn up the Christmas music, bake some cookies and make a craft together.
Here’s an idea for an outdoor wreath that not only looks pretty, but feeds our beautiful little feathered friends as well!
Decorated Bird Seed Wreath
- 1 round straw wreath
- 1 jar peanut butter
- 1 bag wild bird seed treats
- Assorted ribbons, pinecones & bows
- wire for hanging on an outdoor tree
Spread the peanut butter around the wreath. Cover with bird seed. Add a bow, hang on a branch, and watch as your feathered visitors enjoy a holiday feast!
Wishing you all a most blessed Christmas!