1. Builds Healthy Relationships
Work stress and disability affect family relationships. Dancing, listening, making music together, combining art pieces to make something new, as a pair is a positive and fun way to build healthy relationships. Art, dance, song, rhythm, or poetry is an Expression of your voice. Creative Play is a healthy way to practice safe, healthy self-expression. Parents and teachers will thank you because children whose efforts are celebrated are happier.
2. Self-Care is a Skill Taught by Modelling.
Grandparents and parents taking time to create art, music, silly plays, rhymes, and listen to songs with children teach children the importance of creative expression as a self-care tool. As children move through life they and to make better choices confidently.
3. Opens up the Lines of Communication
Everyone is equal in play, otherwise, it is no fun at all. That’s why it is called a level playing field. Meeting kids on their playing field lets kids, and you, find other ways to say what you mean peacefully. Communication between the child and parent naturally becomes smoother, comfortable, and more honest. Communication gates that are sticky are often best oiled with kindness, humour, and sensitivity.
4. Intergenerational learning builds empathy and trust.
Focus is on what did you notice when you were dancing, singing, building the birdhouse? Answers might range from “I noticed that I wanted to move around. I thought that I had to sit at the table and not make a mess. Then I remembered that there are no rules on sitting or standing to make art. I stood up and danced where I was standing. It felt better.'“ Sharing that revelation with a child who has trouble sitting at a desk at school might be helpful.
5. Play throughout all the decades of our lives is a vital key to health and wellness.
PLAY is a positive feeling that lowers stress responses and increases feel-good neurochemicals. I hypothesize that this change in neurochemistry is a reason why patients who participate in hospital creative arts programs heal faster with better outcomes. It is a fun way to naturally, temporarily shift into feeling better physically and lifting your mood. Feeling silly and happy is catchy, and having tea, playing cards, or swapping stories with kids will brighten your mood.
6. Nurturing someone's creativity fills us with positive emotions.
It feels good to care for someone and when someone cares for you. Jaak Panksepp found that rats nurturing their young had lower stress hormones and increased feel-good hormones. It feels good to say, “Wow, I really liked the way you crawled through the chair. I could definitely see how snaky you were.” It feels good to hear from a young person, “I like the way that you made that picture. All the colours feel like smiles.”