Wellbeing Walls Interactive art with Art4Space

Improving mental and physical wellbeing in schools through interactive art

The school playground serves as one of the most important developmental spaces for young minds and bodies. According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health problems affect about one in 10 children and young people. In 2018, over one in five children in the first year of primary school were overweight or obese.

Studies show that the link between play and wellbeing is crucial for children’s emotional, social, cognitive and physical development.

‘Our ongoing research is demonstrating that access to programmes which incorporate arts- and healthbased interventions leads to increased independence, improved self-esteem, confidence and resilience and allows individuals to build a peer support network.’

Rebecca Johnson, Occupational Therapist and Clinical Lead, Breathe Arts Health Research (originally part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity; now a social enterprise that designs and delivers arts-in-healthcare programmes)

Art4Space have been improving mental wellbeing through the arts for 20 years. Now we are using our expertise to get kids actively thinking about healthy eating, doing physical and mental exercises, using mindfulness techniques and engaging with nature.

We've developed a vibrant, interactive version of the playground trim trail that encourages both physical and mental wellbeing through exercise games, sound and breathwork meditations and brainteasers.

Through workshops we work with students to think, discuss and visualise health and well-being themes through the mediums of drawing, ceramic and mosaics.

Our latest example is a 100m wall around Stockwell Primary School's playground. The artwork acts as a game trail that leads the students through a variety of activities and encourages them to use the full length of the playground.

Students are involved in making the artwork, so feel a real sense of involvement and pride over the transformation of their playground. Some examples of using ceramic pieces, made by the students.

Students at Stockwell Primary School made the ceramic stars for 'DO 10 STARJUMPS'
'Power Up' on fruit and veg. Workshops include nutritional and food-growing education

We want to encourage an engagement with nature and healthy eating, including food growing, nutritional education and ecological awareness.

Where does our food come from?
Our workshops included sound and breath meditations to equip the children with the ability to use mindfulness techniques in day to day life.
'Count the insects' encouraging children to take notice of the nature around them
'Power Up' on fruit - mosaics done by years 4, 5 and 6
Monkey Maze brainteaser
'Find your Favourite fruit' word-search
How can we improve our playground wellbeing?

Other project ideas could include stepping stones, hopscotch, giant chess, nature trails, trim trails and lots more!

For more information please contact: jewels@art4space.co.uk