Art therapy is for babies

 

No.  Really.  Art therapy is great for people who are preverbal or who have limited verbal skills for other reasons (such as disability, illness, or language barriers).  The sensory aspect of art making has been shown to promote the growth of new neurons, to promote the development of motor skills, and to aid in top down development in babies and young children.  Engaging with the art materials reduces stress and has a regulating effect on the nervous system.  It also encourages the development of problem solving skills, self-control and mastery, and can foster creativity and a zest for learning.  In the context of an art therapy session conducted by an art therapist, a baby or young child can increase secure attachment after a separation or rocky start, build trust, and build and strengthen relationships with caregivers.  Art therapy can support caregivers to bond with their child, reduce their own stress and anxiety, to increase their confidence, and to heal from their own historical traumas.  Of course, it is important that to have age appropriate expectations and materials.  A baby is not going to create a museum quality masterpiece.  At this stage, the focus is on experiencing the art materials with the senses.  Squishing the clay, feeling the slippery paint, smelling the dough, and inevitably tasting things as well.  Good thing there are so many non-toxic, and even edible material options out there!