A new study connecting brain waves and art images provides fascinating new ideas about the importance of art. Even if you are not an art geek (which I most certainly am), you will want to at least take a minute to think about the implications of this study.
Let me hit the highlights. Researchers have mapped the brain activity of people as they view art before. Not surprisingly, different parts of the brain are activated as the participant judges a piece of art to be beautiful or ugly. In this new study, all participants mapped activity in the ventral striatum when they viewed a picture with an artistic flair, whether or not they liked it or hated it. This section of the brain is responsible for decision making, pleasure, and risk taking.
Cutting through all the geek talk, the study shows that viewing art provides the brain with a reward. That reward triggers a part of the brain that is responsible for good decision making. Art is not merely an aesthetic pursuit, but is a brain boosting activity.
Brain boosting power! What are you waiting for? Pack up the kids and head to the nearest art museum. The best news is that you don't even have to say a word. Your kids will be building the brain power just by aimlessly wandering. If you would like to add a little oomph to your art visit, check out my recent series on how to the make the most of your art museum visit with your little people. For art museum fun, here are my top ten favorite games to play on your art museum trip.
2. Postcards. This is an old favorite that can really enhance a visit for the littlest artists. If you have a local art museum that you frequent, buy several postcards of the art before your next visit. Slide the cards into a 4 x 6 photo album to make them easy to use for little hands. Use your postcards to guide you through the museum.
4. Five W's This game is for older kids, allowing them to explore the art and answer critical questions. Choose a painting in the room that you would like to study. Begin by asking your child 'Who?' and allow them to tell you who is in the picture. Encourage them to go with their first answer and then add more details. Continue the game by asking what, when, where, and why.
7. Best and Worst. This is a perfect game for when you are feeling tired and need to sit and rest a minute. Choose a bench in a gallery where you can see several paintings. Ask your child to choose the painting they like best and the painting they like worst. Talk about your preferences.
9. Shapes and Color Sort. For little kids, search for every color in the rainbow and all your favorite shapes. Use index cards to make simple flashcards that include each color and each shape. Shuffle the cards and have your child choose one. Then start on the hunt to find your shape and color.
This post is a part of Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda