How arts and crafts can improve your health and well-being

There is rising evidence that engaging in arts and craft can be calming, relaxing and stimulating and is good for our health and wellbeing. It is also a very positive alternative to our increasing habit of always turning to devices like phones to distract and entertain ourselves.



Creativity is a powerful tool for overcoming anxiety, abating boredom (if you ever get time to be bored) and entertaining for the kids. I'm a big fan of making things just for the pleasure of it but I also recognise its value in supporting my sons fine motor skills and his mental health.


Dr Daisy Fancourt, Senior Research Associate University College London reported that 'Children who engage in the arts have higher levels of self esteem and if parents engage in crafts with their children the children get an even stronger sense of self esteem, are less likely to experience problems with their peers, less likely to develop depression and are more likely to live healthier lives.' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iBaF7y9msQ


The Craft Council have a range of downloadable tutorials you may find helpful. Some of my favourites include instructions for: natural dying, upcycled brush making, spinach sun prints, and forest craft . https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/learning/get-making/summer-craft-challenge/spinach-sun-prints-by-sam-hutchinson


And for their Get Creative Outdoors initiative they commissioned makers to create craft activities for all ages to enjoy over the summer holidays. These involve activities like working with found materials or making something to play with outdoors. You can find these activities on this page: https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/learning/get-making/summer-craft-challenge


You don't have to be good at it, artistic or consider yourself to be a ‘creative person’ it's the taking part and having fun that counts!


Further References

Arts on Prescription - https://www.artsonprescription.org/

Arts, Culture and wellbeing - https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/developing-creativity-and-culture/arts-culture-and-wellbeing

Dr Daisy Fancourt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iBaF7y9msQ

Sir Nigel Crisp, NHS chief executive 2007, “arts and health are, and should be firmly recognised as being, integral to health, healthcare provision and healthcare environments.” https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/11/11/the-role-of-the-arts-within-heath/