We have always put art and community at the heart of everything we do, which is why our Art and Wellbeing initiative has been crucial towards opening up a conversation around the physical and emotional wellbeing of our visitors. Not only have we been tirelessly working on accessibility materials, free learning resources and creative sessions for adults; our Learning team has also spent a significant amount of time researching and designing activities for families and children.

Painting Light and Shadow Workshop © The Lightbox

A recent study from University College London around children's engagement in the arts has found that taking part in creative sessions can boost a young person's self-esteem, regardless of their ability or inclination for artistic expression. The report compared multiple types of art activities and also measured if a parent's involvement positively impacted the outcome.

When it came to reading, music-making or listening, researchers found that an increase in a child's self-esteem was only quantifiable in the case of a parent's participation in the pastime, whereas drawing and painting were generally associated with higher self-esteem, regardless of parental contribution. The study also noted that '[a]mong the matched sample, children who participated in arts activities most days were significantly more likely to have higher levels of self-esteem than those who participated less often'.

Free Drop-in Family Session © The Lightbox

Be it either term time or the holidays, we do our best to have a variety of children's and family workshops on offer, drawing inspiration from the exhibitions and artworks on display. We've just put together a Summer Family Fun Guide where you can find out all about what we have going on during May half-term and the summer holidays. From free family drop-ins to sea-themed bookable workshops and bubbly craft sessions, we offer something that the whole family can enjoy!

Producing art can 'validate the uniqueness of an individual, which gives rise to a sense of accomplishment and to feelings of self-worth', the research authors conclude. Likewise, 'the arts have been shown to support a sense of social identity' and can 'encourage goal-directed behavior, and enhance social resilience'.

Young Curators - Tablet Art Workshop © Bahareh Akbarisafa

Whether a young person picks up a guitar or a paintbrush, it will certainly help them navigate those murky teenage waters a bit more easily. For those eager to get their creative juices flowing, they can draw inspiration from our current The Ingram Collection: St Ives School display or the upcoming Centrepiece and Parallel Lines: Drawing and Sculpture exhibitions. There's a jam-packed programme of arts and crafts awaiting discovery, so just sneak a peek on our Guide for the full schedule!

First up, our Printmaking workshop for 5–8 year olds takes place on Tues 28 May, 1.30– 3.00pm.
For more information or to book a place, please click here.