by GIETU  |  January 28, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted schools and institutions that traditionally employed face-to-face education to switch to virtual classes. As a result, the burden of providing the infrastructure for accessing learning has shifted from the provider to the user all of a sudden. This alteration from brick-and-mortar to online classrooms has impacted every stakeholder – students, educators, and educational systems – with the potential for online learning to become a more permanent education solution in many parts of the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has different effects on children’s lives. They have lost social interaction and the support of friends, school communities, and extended family due to closures and restrictions. In addition, children are likely to have had discussions about the virus and what they can do to be safe, and they may have been exposed to COVID-19 news items.

The prevailing attitude of their household has an impact on children. Change is unavoidable in life, and children’s reactions to it vary depending on various developmental, biological, and relational factors. As a result, childhood is frequently marred by varying degrees of adversity. Adults, often loving caregivers, are required to scaffold understanding and experiences in order to allow appropriate emotional, social, cognitive, and behavioural responses, such as resilience and empathy, in infants and children.

While the impact of COVID-19 has varied, parents have felt the strain of managing their children’s schedules and health concerns on a full-time basis. In addition, parents have had to arrange supplemental educational enrichment activities for their children to keep up with online learning.

Children have encountered unique challenges as schools and daycare services have closed or gone out of business. Dramatic changes in daily patterns, especially for young children, are severe stressors that can lead to psychological distress. Group activities, parks, playdates, and extracurricular activities that traditionally consumed most of their time are no longer available to them. Furthermore, youngsters are experiencing the same feelings of loss and fear as adults are during the current pandemic. Simultaneously, students have transitioned to online learning and no longer spend considerable time in classrooms with their peers.

While school closures have had an impact on all children’s lives, children from low socioeconomic situations are more likely to endure the negative consequences of being out of school. Nutritional insufficiency, child abuse, and developmental and educational setbacks are only a few examples. In addition, low-income parents face financial challenges as a result of job loss and possible safety risks if they remain employed, as they are more likely to be involved in critical labour that cannot be done from home. The difficulties that families endure during COVID-19 could have a negative impact on their psychological well-being.

Thus, art became an important outlet for children to express themselves and get creative.

Expressing through art

Children use art and play to convey their thoughts and feelings. They use creative outlets to express themselves, reduce stress, and work through issues that arise in their lives. Children lack the developmental aptitude and life experience to comprehend, verbalise, and process challenging, traumatic, or unfavourable experiences. Children’s mental health can be promoted and supported via art. Creating a caring environment for youngsters to do art is especially vital right now.

Amid a pandemic, when parents are concerned about more screen time and a disrupted schedule, special educators emphasise the significance of immersing children in art. Children’s work can reveal how they are processing their current world, which is one in which they are imprisoned up at home, away from friends and school.

Most Waldorf schools across the globe have adopted the wet-on-wet method of painting. The use of watercolours in this manner allows for fluid blending and movement on paper. Colours bleed into one another, moving, growing, spreading, and appearing to have their own lives. Because young infants are so linked to their surroundings, the colours around them absorb energy and feelings. This allows youngsters to experience the effects of each colour’s characteristics on themselves, such as warmth or coolness. Because watercolours don’t require exactitude in form, shape, or outline, many kids feel free to create and experiment. Based on their experiences, children identify each colour with a strong positive or negative feeling, which gives their paintings more meaning. The child lets go of emotions that have been locked inside for a long time while bringing them out on paper.

Students and instructors can benefit much from the arts, particularly when it comes to healing and trauma. We know from research that participating in the arts can help students with their social and emotional development requirements, such as teaching emotional regulation and compassion for others. They can also give an avenue for pupils to express their feelings in the aftermath of trauma (among other things), allowing them to start the healing process and build resiliency.

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