8 Art Therapy Activities to Help Kids Manage Their Feelings
These days, your kids can be experiencing all the feelings, from melancholy and anxiety to being distant, lonely, and bored. And no surprise! Even though most of us are not trained art therapists, we may still use a few art therapy exercises to help children recognize and control their emotions.
Psychotherapy and art are combined in the therapeutic process known as art therapy. It can aid children in exploring their feelings, boosting self-esteem, reducing stress, and easing despair and anxiety.
Trained psychotherapist Krista Reinhardt-Ruprecht teaches the principles of art therapy. She claims it is challenging to escape from feeling states since they keep us low in the right hemisphere. Our left hemisphere is brought back online when we create with our hands. By viewing it as distinct from who we are, we can aid ourselves as we transform an interior feeling into an external work of art.
Here are a few easy art therapy exercises that will assist your children in recognizing and controlling their emotions.
- Make mandalas
Mandalas and other forms with repeating patterns are beneficial for controlling emotions and the neurological system. It can aid children in concentrating and calming down. They can color them after they’ve been drawn!
- Visualize your feelings.
Making Anger Creatures with clients is one of Reinhardt-favorite Ruprecht’s activities. She invites the customer to visualize their fury in their minds and then depict it on canvas. Reinhardt-Ruprecht claims that as a result, “Anger gets to have its personality. We can let the fury out and see how terrible it is before determining what it requires.
- Use nature to inspire art
It is calming and grounds us to work with organic fibers. A simple walk outside will also reveal great resources for you to play with. Create stunning weavings, sun catchers, or bracelets from natural materials. Visit 25 Fun and Easy Nature Crafts & Activities for additional inspiration.
- Change something.
Recently, Reinhardt-Ruprecht assisted a patient who was having trouble coping with the status of the world. They all sat down and brainstormed all the awful aspects of COVID-19. After that, they tore the list into pieces and turned it from something undesirable to something lovely.
- Put the pieces together.
Collaging is a very soothing exercise with two advantages. Handling various materials and textures—soft, rough, rigid—is a calming experience. Additionally, organizing and calming your brain are benefits of the art involved in putting things together in novel and interesting ways.
- Make a collage of magazine photos.
According to Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, a magazine picture collage is a technique that “uses photographs to construct techniques are discussed that facilitates the discourse between therapist and client.”
Having your child cut out photos from magazines that appeal to them is an easy method to accomplish this at home. After that, give them some paper and glue and ask them to organize the pictures into a group. Ask them to recount their processes as they go if they are prepared to do so.
- Create masks
Making or embellishing a mask in art therapy frequently leads to exploring many facets of our personalities. Sometimes we can put on a mask to hide difficult emotions to communicate. Give your child a mask that is already created, or have them construct one out of paper and let them decorate it however they like. Necessarily tell you the history of the mask after they are done.
- A family statue
Encourage children to make a clay family sculpture; this is one of Dr. Malchiodi’s suggestions as an art therapist. Conversations on the significant individuals and relationships in a person’s life are encouraged by family members’ size, shape, and placement.