Ollin Healing Arts
"move and act with all your heart"
Is dedicated to creating children's programming that nurtures the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs of all children through integrative education.
We are committed to providing programs that are inclusive and embrace the neuro-diversity and unique needs of children, through arts and mindful and movement.
"If Every 8 year old in the world was taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation"
In the age of instant gratification, smart devices, fast food and changing advanced technology how do we remain calm, focused and stress free? The beautiful and simple answer is meditation.
Meditation is a practice that has been in existence for thousands of years. We began studying it scientifically about 60 years ago, with mind expanding results. The science reveals that the practice of daily meditation actually changes the structure of the brain. The basic idea is that the brain has a plasticity to it, the thoughts and behaviors that are enforced daily through repetition grow stronger and stronger and the ones we don't use grow weaker and disappear. This is why a habit is automatic. We have on average 50,000+ thoughts each day. 98% of them are repeated daily and 80% of them are negative thoughts. Our worry, stress, anxiety, and irritability are a direct result of these those thoughts which are either regret about the past that we can no longer change or worry about the future which hasn't yet happened. By being stressed in the present moment we practice the negative cycle of worry and the more we worry, the better we become at it. This negative cycle creates constant stress that can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
When we make meditation a habit, we are practicing the art of breathing and looking at our thoughts and feelings that pass through our awareness without reacting to them. This increases our self awareness, attention span and focus,ability to stay calm under pressure, increases our memory and recall, people display more empathy and notably it has two physical impacts on our body. It decreases the size of the amygdala which is the fear center of our brain and it decreases the amount of cortisol in our bodies, which is the stress hormone. Which amazingly are things that modern science can see and measure! I have included a few videos on meditation for those interested in hearing scientists and experts talk about the benefits of meditation.
Here at Ollin Healing Arts, we believe that the short practice of meditation with children is a form of medicine; it's a habit that will promote a healthy brain and thought cycles. In this age of fast moving flashing lights constant noise it will teach them to quiet their minds, and breathe...and so much more.
The Importance of Art in Child Development
In recent years, school curricula in the United States have shifted heavily toward common core subjects of reading and math, but what about the arts? Although some may regard art education as a luxury, simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. Learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics may be more important than ever to the development of the next generation of children as they grow up.
Developmental Benefits of Art
Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. According to the National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors. Many preschool programs emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will need for writing.
Language Development: For very young children, making art—or just talking about it—provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions. When toddlers are as young as a year old, parents can do simple activities such as crumpling up paper and calling it a “ball.” By elementary school, students can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork.
Decision Making: According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life. “If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,” says MaryAnn Kohl, an arts educator and author of numerous books about children’s art education.
Visual Learning: Drawing, sculpting with clay and threading beads on a string all develop visual-spatial skills, which are more important than ever. Even toddlers know how to operate a smart phone or tablet, which means that even before they can read, kids are taking in visual information. This information consists of cues that we get from pictures or three-dimensional objects from digital media, books and television.
“Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past,” says Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University. “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.” Knowledge about the visual arts, such as graphic symbolism, is especially important in helping kids become smart consumers and navigate a world filled with marketing logos.
Inventiveness: When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. “The kind of people society needs to make it move forward are thinking, inventive people who seek new ways and improvements, not people who can only follow directions,” says Kohl. “Art is a way to encourage the process and the experience of thinking and making things better!”
Cultural Awareness: As we live in an increasingly diverse society, the images of different groups in the media may also present mixed messages. “If a child is playing with a toy that suggests a racist or sexist meaning, part of that meaning develops because of the aesthetics of the toy—the color, shape, texture of the hair,” says Freedman. Teaching children to recognize the choices an artist or designer makes in portraying a subject helps kids understand the concept that what they see may be someone’s interpretation of reality.
Improved Academic Performance: Studies show that there is a correlation between art and other achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.
Grace Hwang Lynch is a writer, consultant, and mom based in the San Francisco Bay area. She blogs about Asian fusion family and food at HapaMama.com.
Facts about movement and brain development:
Physical activity fuels the brain with oxygen. ¸
Certain movements stimulate the inner ear - this helps physical balance and motor coordination. ¸
Movement decreases stress, which is critical for learning to take place. ¸
Visual tracking of moving objects (eg. balls) is crucial for a child’s eyes to learn to work together and for vision to develop the correct connections in the brain. ¸
The part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning so movement helps stimulate learning.
Increasing the difficulty of movement challenges utilizes more brain cells and pathways. ¸
The left side of the brain usually works the right side of the body; the right side of brain usually works the left side of the body.