You might be a whiz with the hot glue gun and be able to create something out of nothing — or you may feel like you have not a single creative bone in your body. Wherever your talents may fall, crafting with family and friends is a great way to let go and feel whole.
Being creative is good for your health
Giving yourself time to experiment and tackle a DIY project or just have fun with arts and crafts is positive for your physical and mental health.
Activities like coloring and painting cause the brain to release dopamine, a chemical released by nerve cells that communicates with other cells in the body. These neurotransmitters regulate emotions and make us feel happy.
Studies have documented numerous health benefits associated with the arts. Being creative:
Helps you cope with loss or grief
Improves cognitive function because the left side of the brain (the more academic side) communicates with the right side (the artistic, imaginative side)
Improves mental health
Improves self-esteem when you're proud of what you created
Reduces anxiety and stress
Tackle a DIY project
A do-it-yourself project lets you dabble with paint, power tools or whatever other materials you might need to accomplish your task. Chances are HGTV and home magazines have spurred your imagination for a crafty project or minor home improvement.
If you need more ideas, take a glance at Pinterest or simply Google “Home DIY Projects” for a wealth of ideas. Maybe you feel ambitious enough to paint a room, or maybe you only have an hour to quickly repurpose an object you no longer use.
You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment when you make even a minor change to your space.
Use everyday objects from home for a project
Doing an art project with kids doesn’t have to be expensive. Take a look around your home for odds and ends and put them on a table. Let your kids use their imagination about what to do with them.
Some supply ideas: paper plates, popsicle sticks, empty toilet paper cardboard tubes, clothes pins, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, yarn and ribbon, cardstock and construction paper, or outdoor objects (rocks, sticks, leaves).
Make a seasonal project or anything that comes to mind.
Get out markers, crayons, paint and glue with the other items and see what your kids come up with. Spend time with them and build your own masterpiece.
Create a rainy day (or boredom) kit with objects like this and pull a basket full of them out during a time at home when you need to keep kids occupied.
The time you spend together will unleash your creativity and gives you a special chance to connect with your child and make memories to cherish.
Embrace messy art
You might cringe at the thought of glitter everywhere, but something about tactile art is intriguing and appealing.
Do you remember playing with salt dough when you were little? Look up the recipe and try it again with your kids.
Oobleck, a gooey mix made with cornstarch and water, feels fascinating. Is it wet or is it dry? You decide.
Slime is also popular with young children and easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. Look up instructional videos and you’ll have the hang of it in no time.
Art that you can touch and manipulate is a great way to relax, unwind and lower your stress levels.
Book a party to get crafty with friends
If the thought of an art mess makes you cringe, book a party at a local studio where you can paint pottery or a canvas.
Your house stays clean AND you can spend time with friends, catching up, laughing and fostering social connections — an important part of your whole health.
Give yourself the gift of art. Let your mind wander. Spend time with your kids and friends. Enjoy the break from your regular chores and relax!