Creative kids are healthy kids. A creative mind needs materials so their hands and minds coordinate an idea with accomplishing something only they thought about. It’s one of the most important studies for them during this pandemic, whether in classes at school or doing at-home classes online. A screen is a screen is a screen. But drawing pads and pencils are dreams they can visualize.

Scientists have proven the physical act of creating something opens new paths of brain activity that aids in other areas of study. It’s pretty well-known that playing a musical instrument, singing and even listening to music help with a person’s ability to learn new languages and mathematics and understand complex theories.

Creative efforts when awake expands the “what-ifs” as you sleep. Nikola Tesla was known to get very little sleep but when he did solutions to his daytime pondering came to him. Like Thomas Edison, Tesla experimented and stayed curious all his life. Without them, we might not have this thing we call electrical power. They thought about things, experimented, failed and succeeded.

“I don’t care that they stole my idea,” Tesla said,” I care that they don’t have any (ideas) of their own.” Sure, the average person may look at artists and scientists as being eccentric. I’m sure Leonardo DaVinci was considered a bit “different” during the Renaissance too, but curiosity, experimentation and old-fashioned “hands-on” brought his name into history books about science as well as art.

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It’s not unusual that many great thinkers, inventors, scientists and explorers were also artists.

As the school system gets the youngsters acclimated to social distancing and wearing masks during the day, it would be a great treat for them to have a way to exercise free choice when they are home. Being able to write, draw, paint and even sculpt their frustrations away may make for better temperament, true. But the greatest asset for those creative moments may well be how that creative time helps in their math class.

Hands-on experiences are a good thing for anyone. Parents may want to save some of the drawing paper and start drawing up some ideas too. You’re never too old nor too young to get that image out of your head and onto paper.

If anyone has an item for this column, please contact Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.