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 and, more recently, digital resources that you can use at home.

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. But while The Lightbox is closed to the public, we have been working on content that you can use to entertain the kids from the comfort of your own home. If you’d like to be kept up to date with the newest arts and crafts idea, please sign-up to receive our newsletter for children and families.

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, make sure to bookmark our blog and check back regularly, or keep an eye on our social channels for daily posts.

And, remember, you can also use various online resources from museums and galleries around the world. Want to learn more about art? Check out the MOMA or Tate websites, or the dedicated Tate Kids resource. Want to find lot of new craft projects? Then check out Red Ted Art’s blog or maybe even give Pinterest a go.

Just don’t forget to pop by for a visit once when we reopen as we’re preparing a jam-packed schedule of fun learning activities inspired by our upcoming Raphael and Bridget Riley exhibitions.