The science of conformity

I want you to think back to high school, however long ago it was. Remember how you were put into a group, whether it be jocks, nerds, the popular’s, and to be in the group you had a set of traits and rules you had to follow to be ‘in’. In order to be a jock, you had to be on a sports team, to be in nerd you must get really high marks, each clique has its own set of rules or regulations to be in it.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about cults and their followers. This week I want to branch off to the main aspects of cults: conformity. Why do people follow others and is it bad?

Conformity is all evolutionary, we as humans are made to be social. For the sake of collectiveness people are driven to fit in. We will copy the actions of others or look to the group to know how to think and act. Conformity is varying it could be in appearance, behavior, or social norms, even non- conformists conform to society.

From our very first breath we begin to conform. Infants learn the correct behavior by mimicking the parents and siblings. Children also learn social skills by observing and copying friends and teachers. Children conform to the rules at home then conform to a whole new set of rules at school, the grocery store, even at friend’s houses.

There are two main types of conformity:

  • Informational: The lack of knowledge so someone looks to the group for information and direction on decisions and opinions
  • Normative: The change of someone’s behavior and beliefs to fit in with the group.

Of course, there are similar categories of conformity which are:

  • Identification: the conforming of people to do what is expected of them based on their social rules this happened during the Stanford prison experiment which I wrote about last week.   
  • Compliance: The changing of behavior while still disagreeing internally with the group. Ex. Phase one of cults which I wrote about a few weeks back.
  • Internalization: The changing of ideas and behaviors of someone who now believes what the group believes. Ex. Phase two of cults.

Conformity, though, happens everywhere, it changes strengths and amounts based on many influential factors:

  • Difficulty of the tasks
  • Personal individual differences
  • Size of the group
  • Characteristics of the situation
  • Cultural differences  

Conformity can be good or bad based on the situation since conformity could help survival or social harmony or it could be very bad and create outgroup bullying or fear. In the case of society we have laws and we expect those laws to be followed we expect the common people to conform and follow those laws in the case of being kidnapped you should conform to what they want in order to survive if you look at North Korea though that is negative conformity built off of fear.

Cherry, Kendra. “Why Do We Try so Hard to Be Like Other People and Conform?” Verywell Mind, 26 Mar. 2020,

“Conformity.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,

Stanford Prison Experiment

Imagine you are in a place of complete control. Everyone is doing what you say, when you say, how you say to do it, and you don’t need to explain why. You want them to obey every command they will do it just because you said so. You feel as though you are invincible, and nothing can stop you.

Now imagine the opposite, being the one controlled over. You have no place to speak and if you speak against the person in control you get punished. You get locked away or denied any food or privacy. You must do whatever the person says, or you will get penalized.

Both seems like extremes, you all the way to the left, one all the way to the right with no meet in the middle. You have the controller and the controlee. The one in power would probably feel pretty good getting whatever you want when you want it and how you wanted it. On the contrast being the controlee feels bad having no right to be who you are and being denied basic human rights, in other words, you feel like a dog. 

These are the feelings the boys in the Stanford Prison Experiment felt like. Now we know that the whole experiment is morally wrong, and that heavy emotional toll was taken. Those are prisoners had severe mental health problems after they were released, they felt like they were not allowed to have opinions; they are not allowed to be themselves. Those as a guard afterwards felt appalled over what they did, but some thought that the feeling of being in control felt great.

For those of you who have never heard of this or have heard but don’t know what its about, here is a summary of what happened. A psychologist Dr. Zimbardo wanted to test out if the brutality of American correctional officers were due to their sadistic tendencies or because of the environment they are in. He placed an ad in the newspaper open to college students who were willing to act out the role as a prison guard or a prisoner for 2 weeks with a pay of $15/hr.

Dr. Zimbardo controlled for mental illness and disability so those factors could not interfere with the results of his research. He took 21 boys and gave them each an assigned position as the guard or the prisoner and left them to be and act out what a prison should be like. The same amount of food was given, the same outfits were used, and the place looked very much like a prison.

To make a long story short, the experiment only lasted 6 days because the whole research went haywire. The guards started to emotionally abuse the prisoners and the prisoners were no longer people, they referred to themselves by their number and did exactly as told because they were afraid of what could happen. They could not be physically beaten though since it was in the contract that no physical violence could be used.

The guards would only talk about trouble prisoners and the jail conditions while the prisoners only talked about the jail conditions. Neither party talked about things outside of the experiment as they accepted their placement and really took on the roll of their part. Maybe even too much. The guards developed extreme aggressions and the prisoners engaged in mental breakdowns.

The conclusion of this experiment was as follows: “people will readily conform to the social roles they are expected to play, especially if the roles are as strongly stereotyped as those of the prison guards.”

What I believe should be done with this research is to take the outcome and compare it to how teens and children act in schools. Students become who they think they should be based on reputations and social roles given to them by peers. Maybe if we understood this more we could increase the likelihood of stopping bullying and maltreatment from student to student.

Mcleod, Saul. “The Stanford Prison Experiment.” Stanford Prison Experiment | Simply Psychology,

What and why we dream?

Have you ever woken up from sleep in cold sweats, feeling super anxious? How about waking up feeling super great ready to take on the day because you had the perfect dream? If you said no or I don’t have dreams, then you just don’t remember your dreams. Everyone dreams whether you are conscious of it or not.

Dreams are imaginary thoughts that get materialized into pictures and sounds while you are unconscious. The most vivid dreams happen between REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and being awake. You have different levels of dreaming, you have first and foremost nightmares, a casual dream, vivid, lucid dreams, and night terrors.

A dream or nightmare can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes to maybe more, but the typical dream lasts 30 minutes. I know for me I fall back to sleep after my alarm and dream, which I feel lasts a long period of time, but in reality, it only lasted 15 minutes.  So, dreams can feel like they last a lifetime, especially if they are particularly bad.

Why we dream, I can’t really say because scientists still haven’t figured that out, but there are theories to why dreams exist.  The most common theory moving around today is that dreams are for our emotional, mental, and physical health. If you don’t go into REM sleep you are more likely to be:

  • Anxious
  • Depressed
  • Full of tension
  • Lack concentration
  • Gain weight
  • More perceptible to hallucinations

Experts say that dreaming helps solve problems or help us to at least come to an understanding with them to lessen the impact on our mental state and to process emotions. Why else do you think that if you go to bed sad you wake up the next day feeling better or at least calm.

No one knows what dreams mean because dreaming is specific to the person having the dream. There is no ‘I dreamt of playing basketball so according to this website I am good at teamwork and cooperation’ see dreams may have a meaning, but there is no general meaning of a specific object or activity in a dream. Your dreams though might be telling you something serious, if you are having frequent nightmares there must be a reason for this. If you are having frequent nightmares you should go to your doctor and have some tests run.

You are open to your own opinion; I mean if you believe that your dreams mean something follow your heart. I have also fallen victim to dream dictionary sights searching up what my dream meant if it was concerning or really vivid, but dreams as of research now, they have no meaning.

DerSarkissian, Carol. “Dreams: Why We Dream, Nightmares, and Lucid Dreams.” WebMD, WebMD, 5 Nov. 2019,

“Dreaming.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,

Is Your Memory Trash Too?

Everyone at least once in their lives has done something they would like to forget; falling in front of an audience, being laughed at, or texting something very personal to the wrong person. Most people though, can recall the memory, and can deal with it and move on. There are people who when they go through a stressful situation, don’t remember it ever happening.

People with psychogenic amnesia, also named dissociative amnesia or functional amnesia, which I bet most of you haven’t heard of, don’t remember situations or issues they were involved in. Psychogenic amnesia is a case of memory loss due to psychological causes instead of neurological cause. This is a mental illness that is just as real as anxiety od depression even thought not a huge amount of people have it.

Dissociative amnesia happens when the person blocks out some or all the information about a certain event or situation, usually it’s a stressful or traumatic event, leaving them unable to remember important information which can include gaps in the story. It can also involve breakdowns of consciousness, awareness, identity, or perception. This is very different from anterograde amnesia (trouble making new memories) and retrograde amnesia (trouble remembering old memories) which are caused by physical trauma to the brain instead of psychological trauma.

Functional amnesia is very similar with PTSD in where it based off a traumatic event and some with PTSD can’t remember either, but the main difference is the effects on the body and those with psychogenic amnesia cannot remember regardless of what is done. PTSD symptoms include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Severe anxiety
  • Uncontrollable thoughts about the event
  • Easily startled
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Among other changes in emotion or thought

Psychogenic amnesia really does not have many symptoms, so it is very difficult to diagnose unless the sufferer brings it up to a psychologist. The symptoms include:

  • Inability to remember past experiences
  • Inability to remember personal information
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of episodic memories (experiences or episodes in your life)

In order to be diagnosed with functional amnesia you need to go through a long series of tests to rule out neurological illness or other illness also including a memory problem due to medication. Certain conditions can mirror psychogenic amnesia such as diseases, head injuries, drug/alcohol intoxications and sleep deprivation. If a physical illness isn’t found the person will be referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist who are specifically trained to treat mental illness. These doctors use assessment tools and designed interviews to evaluate.

Even though recovery for psychogenic amnesia is very small there is still types of treaments that could be done to assist in remembering or coping with this illness. The goal of this treatment is to relieve symptoms and control any problem behavior. The best treatment depends on each individual case, it’s based on the symptoms and the severity of the memory loss.

  • Psychotherapy: Techniques designed to encourage those to use their words and communicate about problems and increase mindfulness of the problem.   
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Focus on changing the dysfunctional thinking patterns that create the feeling and behaviors the person exudes.
  • Medication: Treats the depression or anxiety
  • Creative Therapy (art, music, pet): Allows the person to explore ways to communicate and express thoughts and feelings in a safe and creative way.
  • Clinical Hypnosis: Increase relaxation, concentration, and focused attention to alter the state of consciousness to allow the walls in their head to come down letting the flow of feeling, thought, and memory they have blocked to come back. This can be very damaging and could create false memories.

Goldberg, Joseph. “Mental Health: Dissociative Amnesia.” WebMD, WebMD, 6 Apr. 2019,

Harrison, Neil A, et al. “Psychogenic Amnesia: Syndromes, Outcome, and Patterns of Retrograde Amnesia.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 24 Aug. 2017,

 “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 6 July 2018,

“Psychogenic Amnesia: Symptoms, Causes, Illness & Condition.” The Human Memory, 27 Sept. 2019,

My Take On A Mental Illness

This week instead of being all about straight facts, I thought I could share a personal experience and add facts into it. This week I want to talk about Bipolar Disorder. I have struggled with it my whole life, and I know what you are going to say… Tyler Bipolar doesn’t show up until you get older, but it does show up. Bipolar though cannot be diagnosed until adulthood (18 at the earliest) usually around 21-22 years of age.

I should first start by saying, bipolar is one of the most difficult mental disorders to diagnose especially in children. Back in 2006 a study was completed on bipolar disorder about misdiagnosis and the study stated this, “’69 percent of patients with bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed initially and more than one-third remained misdiagnosed for 10 years or more.’” (NCBI). The study also referenced another study that says how Bipolar Disorder, on average, took five to seven years for a proper diagnosis to be made.

Bipolar is typically diagnosed as unipolar depression (also known as clinical depression) during an episode (mood swing) of depressive mood or it can be diagnosed as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) during an episode of mania. Getting incorrect treatment can make the whole disorder worse especially if treated with an anti-depressant to curb the low mood.

Bipolar Disorder is a brain and behavior disorder that creates extreme shifts in a person’s mood and energy levels making it difficult for a person to function during the normal daily life. Bipolar episodes can trigger different symptoms depending on if it’s a manic episode or depressive episode. Mania is a super hype mood where you have energy and depressive mood is the complete opposite.

Symptoms of mania:

  • Increased energy, activity and restlessness
  • Euphoric mood
  • Extreme irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Racing thoughts, fast talking, jumping between ideas
  • Sleeplessness
  • Heightened sense of self-importance (thinking you’re the sh*t)
  • Spending sprees
  • Increased sex drive
  • Abuse of drugs
  • Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior
  • Denial that anything is wrong

Symptoms of Depressive:

  • Sad, anxious, or empty-feeling mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness
  • Loss of interest
  • Decreased sex drive (usually to nothing)
  • Decreased energy, fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Restless and irritable
  • Sleeplessness or sleeping too much
  • Change in appetite, unintended weight gain or loss
  • Bodily symptoms not caused by physical illness or injury
  • Self-harm
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Bipolar has many branches each with different severities:

  • Bipolar 1 classified by episode lasting at least seven days or symptoms are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care
  • Bipolar 2 classified by defined patterns of episodes but episodes shift between hypomanic episodes (less intrusive mania) and being normal
  • Cyclothymic Disorder classified by mild forms of hypomania that shifts with hypodepression (less intrusive depression) for at least 2 years, but doesn’t reach other bipolar standards
  • Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder classified by four or more episode of major depression, mania, hypodepression, and hypomania, or mixed symptoms within a year.

The “fun” thing with Bipolar Disorder is that there is no cure, but there are treatments options to manage the symptoms. Those are medication (not completely getting rid of symptoms), psychotherapy, and getting parents and friends to understand the disorder and do what they can to support the individual with this disorder during an episode.

I made this post not to get sympathy or to get pity, I made this post to educate those people who may be struggling with this disorder or to help those who have a family member or friend with this disorder. My story went a little like this; A little kid with lots of energy brought to therapy and diagnosed with ADHD and was put on medication, the meds made me suicidal but I was 5 so trouble, I was taked off those meds and was put in therapy for the rest of my childhood. I would never stay with a doctor so I jumped around from therapist to therapist and my moods got stronger and they lasted longer. At this point my therapist had no idea what this could be, but my mom had a feeling it was bipolar and she tried to talk to my therapists about this, but none would listen because I was “too young” to be showing symptoms. As I got older the more manic episodes I got and the more violent I became I started to get into my moms face I would yell and scream, eventually the time came where it got too much and I wound up in a psychiatric hospital and put on anti-psychotic medication. In the end my life was hectic, but it came out with a diagnosis almost 10 years after I showed symptoms and I am now stable.

Helpful website on how to support those with Bipolar Disorder (Depressive Episode)  (Manic Episode) (overall support)

“Frequently Asked Questions about Bipolar Disorder.” Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, 15 June 2017,

Moss, Gabrielle. “5 Mental Health Disorders That Are Often Misdiagnosed.” Bustle, Bustle, 9 June 2016,

Singh, Tanvir, and Muhammad Rajput. “Misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.” Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), Matrix Medical Communications, Oct. 2006,

Why Do People Join Cults?

November 18, 1978 over 900 people died at the hands of one individual, Jim Jones. All these people died in a mass suicide. Jim Jones convinced his 900+ followers that the government is coming to take and torture them to death and the only way to be free is to drink a concoction he created which was laced with cyanide. His followers believed they could go to a utopian society free from all life’s hardships and they could live happily. Jim Jones was a leader of the most famous cult of all time.

Let’s say you go to work in the morning ready for the day, you get your morning coffee and settle at your desk and then here comes your manager looking angry. She yells at you for not working late last night to finish your presentation for the big boss and you get fired. On your way home your significant other leaves you for someone else and finally a big truck comes speeding by into a puddle that splashes, and you get soaking wet. You would be feeling pretty crappy. These are the type of people cult members and leaders look for to recruit.  

People join cults for one reason, and one reason only; The illusion of comfort. The thought of a cult might not sound comforting with the history of them, but comfort can be found in different scenarios. Cults satisfy our needs for answers even if they don’t seem realistic. People join cults because the leader preaches clarity and preach they know all absolute answers for tough questions about stuff like meaning of life or religion.

Another reason people join cults is the people who are recruiting, prey on those who have low self-esteem. Any race, financial standing, all backgrounds if they have a lower self-esteem they will become prey, but the predators are usually very nice and open. They show the person affection to gain friendship and trust before they finally end with the recruitment. This leads into the recruits being showered in love giving them a reason to stay and join in the faith.

On that track cult leaders stress the “them vs. us mentality” where the leaders isolate their members from people outside the cult. They also make those in the cult feel superior to those outside the group which in turn leads the cult members to isolating themselves from family and friends.

The whole cult scenario are run by pure mind-control which the followers do not recognize. Members typically don’t know they are in a cult. Four ways of this mind control are public humiliation, self-incrimination, brainwashing, and paranoia. Self-incrimination is using statements written or said by a person to shame that same person publicly which is different from public humiliation which is making the person admit their failures and thoughts out loud to an audience who has an open floor to judge. Brainwashing is done by repeating various lies and distortions until the followers find it difficult to separate what is real and what is a fantasy.

No matter the type of cult, it can leave a real dangerous and nasty lasting effect. An ex-cult member years later even indefinitely have psychological effects. These include irritability, mystical states, heightened paranoia, compulsive attention to detail and many more. Be wary of those who show up in your time of need, many cult members are actually people you already know.

“10 Things to Know About the Psychology of Cults.” Online Psychology Degree Guide,

Manza, Lou. “How Cults Exploit One of Our Most Basic Psychological Urges.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 14 Apr. 2016, Editors. “Jonestown.”, A&E Television Networks, 18 Oct. 2010,

Laughter: The Best Medicine

Imagine you are walking down the street in the dead of winter, there is ice everywhere. You are walking down the street and a lady, and her husband are coming out of the house to get to their car. Suddenly she starts to slip and slide, her body is flailing around, arms trying to grab the railing, and it ends with her on her butt in the snow. I can’t be the only one who would start to giggle and have to clear my throat so she wouldn’t notice me laughing at her.

In order to learn why we laugh we must understand how we laugh. When we laugh the brain ‘lights’ up in many parts and each part has a specific function. First the sensory processing area of the brain processes visual signals like flailing or someone’s facial expression. The cerebral cortex is the next part that lights, this is where the stimuli is being analyzed, whether it be someone falling or a verbal joke. The next two sections that light up are the right hemisphere which is the intellectual analysis to understand the joke and the frontal lobe that is involved in the social emotional responses. Finally, the motor sections respond with laughter.

Obviously, there are many reasons to why we laugh, but why do we laugh when someone goes through misfortune?  The biggest reason to why we laugh while other are slipping on a banana peel or getting smack in the groin would be mental distance. Guys may not be able to fully mental distance though when it comes to groin shots in movies. Mental Distancing is a way for people to psychologically distance from the situation occurring and that makes us more prone to laugh out loud. Seeing other people getting hurt is funny because we don’t feel empathy for the victim since we are distancing.

Another big reasons for why we laugh is all about the facial expression of the person getting hurt or the person telling us the joke. All people have a part in the brain that recognizes a fearful expression or recognizes a situation that should make us afraid. When people are slipping or ice or walking into a pole it creates a ‘fear face’, the wide eyes and open mouth. When someone is having a fear response to a non-life-threatening situation it creates a backwards effect on those watching. We get amused because we realize the situation isn’t serious, but they are still freaking out about it.

The superiority theory is also a reason we laugh at others. We find the situation they are in stressful, but we ourselves are not in that situation so it’s funny! We would be the superior person since we didn’t make the mistake. We all laugh at issues that cause us stress which is why comedians are so successful.

Why is laughing healthy?

  • Mentally: Helps us cope with life by getting rid of our tensions whether is be physical or mental
  • Immune Strengthening: Increases blood platelets (limits obstruction of arteries and lowers blood pressure), Increase in Gamma-interferon (disease fighting), Increase in T-cells (immune response) and B-cells (Disease-destroying antibodies)
  • Respiratory: Clears the respiratory tract by dislodging mucus and increase salivary immunoglobulin A which protects us from infectious organisms
  • Pain: Eases pain by producing natural painkillers
  • Physical: Facial, leg, back, abdominal, and diaphragm muscle a workout

Brain, Marshall. “How Laughter Works.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 27 Jan. 2020,

Rutherford, Fiona. Study Finds Brain Confusion Causes Us to Laugh at the Misfortune of Others, 12 Aug. 2014,

“The Laughing Brain 1: How We Laugh.” Science NetLinks,

Rough- and-Tumble Play: Bad or Good

Have you ever been in a neighborhood where you see all the children on the street playing together, but then it seems not so friendly? Well, that is rough and tumble play; wrestling/ play fighting. It may be difficult to tell when it is real fighting or fake fighting at first glance, but there are signs to know if it’s real or not.

The biggest sign about whether it’s playful or not would be the child’s facial expressions. You will see excitement if its playful and anger/crying if it’s not. Playful fighting, no one gets bullied or gets forced to do anything and they take turns, I tackle you here and then you tackle me back, while we both scream and laugh.

I know many people, especially parents, are nervous about this type of play. It is difficult to tell if it is friendly or not and the children involved could potentially get hurt. Also, if a parent allows rough and tumble play at home and the childcare center does not allow this type of play, the child may have a difficulty knowing when they can play rough vs when they cannot.

Even though there are many concerns, rough and tumble play can be beneficial.

  • Physical Benefits: Increased large muscle strength, increased balance, and increased endurance
  • Problem Solving skills increased
  • Social Skill Benefits: Increase in emotional judgement, increase in body language skills, and increase in language skills
  • Emotional Benefits: Increase in self-regulation and increase in understanding of own emotions and others

“Rough-and-Tumble Play: a Guide.” Raising Children Network, 24 June 2019,

“What Is Rough & Tumble Play?” Explore & Develop, 27 Sept. 2019,

Santa or Religion, Is There a Difference?

I know your first reaction would be ‘Yes of course there’s a difference’, but what really makes them different from each other? Is it because one is widely accepted or because one is preached about in churches, temples, or synagogues? Because if you really investigate it, are there ways to prove that it exists?

Some may say ‘I saw God’ when they come out of anesthesia, but there is a perfectly good explanation for why someone may see this while under. This is like the situation with a medium, they could never have known the things they did, but they are just amazing body language readers. In order to understand we have to investigate further into the biochemistry of belief.  

Belief isn’t something you are born with; you weren’t born with the belief in let’s say ghosts. Belief is something that is socially constructed from what you have learned and heard about all our lives by teachers or parents or friends, etc.

Belief is something linked with thought process and emotions combined.  The thought brought with belief goes through a stepped process through the brain, it starts in one synapse and travels to other synapses crossing the brain and ended up in a type of “higher processing” like the frontal lobe. The thought carried with belief is also emotionally involved since it is carried along the hippocampus (Memory), amygdala (emotions like anger), and the hypothalamus (displeasure and regulatory functions).  All true beliefs are processed in the right temporoparietal junctions which controls processing and attention.

If you believe strongly in anything, you get an emotional connection to it. For example, let’s search body dysmorphia. Body Dysmorphia is when a person sees themselves physically in a morphed view. The person could be super skinny, and their brain will construct a different belief like they are fat, and the person will genuinely see themselves as fat, not just believe they are but physically see themselves as fat.

The brain has a very strong influence on the body physically like in schizophrenia, how that person can see and hear things that are not there. So really if someone says they have seen God or seen Santa Clause can we really believe them? We know how strong the influence the brain has on the body so could believing in something so hard create fake sights or sounds that the person will take as real?

My personal belief is that the belief in Santa Clause and religion are very similar thus giving less significance to the belief in God, Jesus, Prophets, Poseidon, and many more religious figures. I do not personally believe in God, angels or demons, and heaven and hell; what I believe in is that there is some type of higher power, but I do not know what it is or if it exists. So, is there really a difference between Santa Clause and any religious figure or other belief like the Easter bunny?  

Sathyanarayana Rao, T.S., et al. “The Biochemistry of Belief.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry, Medknow Publications, 2009,

Monster Mash

Are you going crazy with nothing to do with your kids? Do they keep asking what you are doing or when you are going to play with them? Since Halloween is coming up I have an activity that you can do with the whole family that can fix the boredom of being home. This activity will require many items, but most can be found inside your home.

Art play can be a numerous number of things from painting, to coloring, to cutting and pasting as well. Art is not only fun to create it has great benefits for children as well! Art play can help develop a child’s fine motor skills, cognitive development skills, math, and language skills.

So, what is the monster mash, you might be asking. Well it is a name for an arts and craft activity that is fun and has so many ways to be creative. You can change this activity to make as simple or as detailed as you want! You know your own child’s skill level and you can simplify as much as you would like.  The items you will need are

  • Tissue Box (Any small box will do)
  • Paper towel rolls (optional)
  • Paint/ Construction paper (Or both)
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Glue/ Tape (Hot glue works best)
  • Various decorating materials: markers, googily eyes, pipe cleaners, feathers, buttons, etc…

The first step is to paint the box or paste colored construction paper all over it. This gives the box a nice background of color to decorate and not a plain brown. The next step if you chose to do this step is to paint or color the paper towel rolls and cut or design them however you would like. The last step is the best of all the steps, take all the extra decorating materials you have an go crazy! If you don’t have googily eyes you can make eyes with marker and construction paper.

Ways Monster Mash helps development =>

Fine Motor Skills: Grasping the different materials like the markers and scissors help the fine motor muscles get stronger. This can help your child with writing, buttoning a coat, and other tasks that require precise movement.

Cognitive Development: Monster Mash can help with practice skills such as cause and effect (ex. If I put this feather in the glue and wait, the feather will stick to the box). They can also practice critical thinking skills by creating a picture of what they want to do and following their idea.

Math Skills: Understanding size, shape, making comparisons, and counting.

Language: As your child describes their artwork and how they got there helps develop new vocabulary.

More about Monster Mash