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 February Half Term Guide where you can find out all about what we have going on during Hockney Week. From free family drop-ins to Hockney-inspired bookable workshops, 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 David Hockney: Ways of Woking and Great Minds by Anne-Katrin Purkiss displays or the upcoming Roy Ralph exhibition. 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 3D Landscapes workshop for 5–8 year olds takes place on Tues 18 February, 1.30pm – 3.00pm. For more information or to book a place, please click here.