Home Family Early Childhood How Just 20 Minutes of Art Boosts Your Child’s Brain

How Just 20 Minutes of Art Boosts Your Child’s Brain


Parents often focus on homework, eating veggies, and dental hygiene when it comes to raising well-adjusted kids. But there’s another crucial, yet overlooked, factor: the role of art in child development.

The Science Behind Art and Brain Development

Johns Hopkins child development expert Susan Magsamen says kids who engage with art become better problem solvers. She explains that these activities can significantly enhance cognitive functions such as memory and executive skills.

Question to Consider: Are you giving enough time to artistic activities in your child’s daily routine?

It Doesn’t Take Much Time!

According to experts, even a short burst of 20 minutes spent on an art-related activity can make a difference in long-term mental health. Your child doesn’t have to be Picasso. Simply doodling or even observing art can be beneficial.

You might wonder, how can just 20 minutes of engaging with art make such a significant difference? Susan Magsamen, an expert in child development, has highlighted the impact this small time investment can have on your child’s brain. Here’s why these 20 minutes are far from trivial:

Cognitive Boost

Activities like drawing, painting, or even appreciating art activate the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is the region responsible for complex cognitive functions like problem-solving, planning, and decision-making.

Question to Consider: Could 20 minutes of art per day help your child excel in other areas like math and science?

Emotional Well-being

The act of creating or experiencing art can release endorphins, thereby improving mood and overall mental well-being. This emotional regulation can be particularly beneficial for children learning how to manage their feelings.

Remember the last time your child felt down? Instead of letting them wallow, try redirecting their energy into creating a simple art piece. You might be surprised at the mood lift it offers.

Stress Reduction

Engaging with art has been shown to lower stress hormones in the body. In today’s high-pressure environment, even kids are not immune to stress. A simple 20-minute art activity can serve as a healthy coping mechanism.

Think of these 20 minutes as a ‘mental break’ where the mind gets to pause, reset, and recharge.

Enhanced Memory and Focus

The process of making art requires a level of concentration and focus that can translate to other tasks. Plus, the act of creating can help to reinforce memory skills.

Studies have shown that kids who engage in arts and crafts are better at remembering facts and details compared to those who do not.

Long-Term Effects

While 20 minutes may seem brief, the cumulative effect of this daily practice can yield long-term benefits in cognitive function and emotional health.

Question to Consider: What long-term skills and benefits do you want your child to gain? Could art be the missing piece of the puzzle?

The Pitfalls of Overlooking Art

Experts state that parents often neglect art when they don’t see it as a viable career path. However, this can actually stunt a child’s ability to express themselves.

Children are naturally wired to express themselves, and suppressing this instinct can be counterproductive.

Art Isn’t a Waste of Time

Devoting time to art isn’t a waste but an opportunity for self-discovery. Between school, sports, and other extracurriculars, some unstructured ‘creative time’ can be highly beneficial.

Interesting Fact: Time spent on art can help children discover their likes, dislikes, and sense of beauty.

Making Art Accessible and Fun

Art doesn’t have to be a formal, expensive endeavor. Experts recommend simple, low-pressure activities.

Example: Ever try cloud-watching with your kids? It’s not only fun but also an excellent exercise in creativity.

Balancing Screen Time with Creative Time

While some television programs may offer value in storytelling and art, balance is crucial.

Question to Consider: How can you create a ‘well-balanced diet’ of activities that includes art?

Beyond Homework and Veggies

Incorporating art into your child’s routine doesn’t just make them better artists; it makes them better thinkers, better feelers, and ultimately, better humans. So, the next time you plan your child’s activities, don’t forget to include some artistic endeavors.

Written by
Tara Joshi

Tara is a food blogger and a mom committed to sustainable living. She writes about various facets of family life, including plant-based nutrition, ethical consumerism, and eco-friendly practices for households.

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