Develop the Brain-Body Connection

This article proposes arts strategies to refine motor skills and activate the senses, promoting a relaxed and mindful classroom environment. Through these activities, educators can assess students' developmental progress, emotional regulation, and response to stress. The "Arts Playbook" provides concise, 5-10 minute arts-based activities from visual arts, dance, music, and drama, to serve as "brain breaks" throughout the school day.

Learning With the Whole Body

The physical realm of development refers to the ability of the brain and body to engage in life and learning, which involves activating the senses and refining fine and gross motor skills. The activities in this section reinforce developmental skills essential to learning through potentially pleasurable physical activities, including dancing, singing, acting, and drawing.

Teachers can use these activities with the whole class in a relaxed and mindful way, reducing stress and improving learning readiness for every student. By observing students' performance in these activities, teachers can identify challenges and strengths, mastery of developmental indicators, emotional regulation, and the effects of stress or trauma.

The following describe arts activities that can be done in 5-10 minutes as simple rituals throughout the school day. In this way, all the art forms can be used as a type of "brain break," with a focus on nourishing essential skills and massaging mastery of developmental milestones.

 Keep a copy at your desk to remind you of the arts activities immediately available to you to help students regulate their brain-body connection.

What's inside the Arts Playbook?

Pencil Play

A list of visual arts activities to encourage students' hand-eye coordination, visual discrimination, and fine motor skills through the visual arts. 

Playful Moves

A series of dance and movement activities will foster the integration of students' motor skills and sensory input to awaken perception and coordinate movement with these dance activities. 

Vocal Play

Several music activities to help students find their voice, listen to self and others, and develop vocal expression and auditory discrimination with these music activities.

People Play

A set of drama activities that support students' emotional literacy and the development of social skills through verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Click here to download and print the entire "Arts Playbook" PDF.

Click here to download and print the entire "Arts Playbook" PDF.

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