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10 Art Therapies To Boost Mental Health In Kids

Stress, anger, sadness, and many similar emotions are part of a person’s life. Even a child faces these strong emotions. It’s human tendency to vent out feelings. Yelling, screaming and crying are ways for those emotions to come out but they are not healthy ways for a child. So how can our little ones express these overpowering feelings?

Around the world, many people use art as a form of expression to deal with stress and unhappiness or just to find some peace and calm. For some, art just adds meaning to life. They are able to express more through art than using words. This is known as art therapy. Even many famous artists have poured their feelings and emotions onto paper.

Image courtesy Google

Art therapy is a specialized area of mental health that uses art materials and the creative process to explore emotions, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem, and resolve other psychological conflicts. It helps people explore self-expression and find new ways to gain some personal insight and develop new coping skills. It can be used by children, adolescents as well as adults just to explore their emotions.

Curious about how art therapy can help your child?? Try out some of the interesting exercises below just to refresh them and nurse their mind, body and soul back to good health.

I worked with my 7-year old child on these art therapies just to pick her mind and also to have some different sort of art activities for her. Since they are all related to expressing feelings, I was curious yo know what she felt.

Draw your emotion

A happy emotion expressed by a child

In this exercise, the focus is on what one is feeling and then to draw or paint it. Excited, emotional, happy, angry, sad, alone, whatever your child feels, let them express it in their own way. Don’t forget, there is no right or wrong way to draw these feelings. It will be their own expression.

Creating emotion color wheel

Emotion Color Wheel
Image courtesy Google
Emotions understood and expressed in the color wheel by a child

Emotion color wheel can help visualize group feelings. A circle is divided into a pie chart with 6 sections and each section represents a specific color which signifies an emotion. One is supposed to draw what they feel for each emotion. If your child is doing this exercise, talk to them about where in their life do they feel those emotions and how strongly.

Send out a balloon into the universe with a message

Image courtesy Hybrid on Unsplash

Get rid of a negative emotion or spread positivity. Ask a child to write or draw their emotion on paper and stick it on a balloon and set it free. One of the most engaging and fun activity that your child will enjoy.

Paint to music

Image courtesy Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

This is a perfect way to let your creativity flow with response to music. Let the feelings flow and just relax. Provide your child with an easel or just stick a drawing paper on the wall. Provide some paints and brushes. Providing only their favorite colors also works well. Make a playlist starting off with some upbeat music. Pick songs with different tempos and mood and also add some instrumental music. Make sure not to interrupt your child and just sit back and observe.

Mandala art

There is nothing as soothing as Mandala. Many of you already know about it and are using this therapy into daily lives. You can easily find some books on mandala for kids on Amazon and introduce it to your child.

Draw a place where you feel safe

Safe place for a child

Every person has a safe place and so do kids. It can be their Mommy’s cozy lap or Daddy’s strong arms. Ask your child to find what their safe place is and draw, paint, sculpt or craft it.

Draw yourself as an animal

“What animal would you be” imagination by a child

Every child loves animals or I can say at least one of them. If your child was an animal what would it be? Ask them to think about it and then draw it.

Mirror self-portrait

Give your child a mirror and crayons or paints to draw on their reflection on mirror. It is all about making them understand what unique elements make them. They can also redraw the same on paper. Mondrian once rightly said, “The purer the artist’s mirror is, the more true reality reflects in it”.

Draw yourself as a superhero

Superhero imagination of a child

Now who doesn’t like a superhero. Kids have a favorite of their own. Ask them to draw themselves as superhero and what kind of power would they have? This exercise not only makes the child imagine themselves stronger but also that they can help others.

Collage your vision of a perfect day

Image courtesy Pure Julia on Unsplash

What does a perfect day mean for you? What all will it have? Ask your child about it. Cutout some pictures from old books, use some stickers and stick them out together. Your child can even draw. The things that your child chooses can be related to each other or completely unrelated. This exercise is all about happiness.

These exercises are used by Art therapists for children as well as adults to help them explore their emotions and reduce stress and anxiety. These are not just interesting activities but is highly recommended form of therapy for mental wellbeing too.

Pablo Picasso once said “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. Let’s make happiness and understanding emotions possible for our children with the beautiful therapy of Art expression.

This post is part of Blogchatter‘s campaign CauseAChatter. 

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla

41 thoughts on “10 Art Therapies To Boost Mental Health In Kids

  1. Creating art can be a soothing activity. You’ve chosen some great activities here and I would go so far as to say that even the adults would enjoy them as much as the children will.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing😍😍 I just loved this post. From the last to the end, there are lots to know to learn. I came to know about the emotional color wheel for the first time. Loved every cute arts by the child. I wish you more power to bring lots more arts, my champ. Keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved each of these ideas. Setting out a balloon in the universe sounds an interesting idea. I often paint with my kids with some music on as our companion. It create a different ambiance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes I agree dear art has a therapeutic effect and work great to boost kid’s mental health. I loved all the ideas shared by you in this post. will try few of these with my girls in upcoming vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Art is surely therapy and makes one feel good about self and surroundings. I really liked all the ways of the art in the post. Mandala is what we as family practice and like self portrait in animal form, that’s quite fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! I knew a bit about art therapy like Mandala art and doodling et cetera but you have really opened up a whole lot of ways to express emotions creatively.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Art is indeed therapeutic. Even looking at art objects can be healing. For kids, it a great outlet not only for their creative energies but also for their emotions. Sandy N Vyjay

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Art is a wonderful way to calm the mind down. I personally do a lot of coloring work in mandalas when I’m tired, annoyed or upset. Also to keep my kids calm, I make them do a lot of art and coloring work. Brings out their creative side and also keeps them calm.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Absolutely agree. Art is the best therapy to bust out your stress and the best therapy to keep the kids engaged creatively. My both kids love to color their canvas with vibrant colors.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Art is therapeutic. You have suggested some good methods for children to indulge in art therapy. I liked all the pointers especially one where the child has to release balloons with faces drawn in the sky. I remember doing this activity with my father:)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Most people don’t realize that children can get stressed out too. They just have a different way of showing it. Art is great therapy and it has been used for years by doctors. These activities are a great way of combining play time and therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really liked the way you structured your post. Speaking from personal experience, art is very therapeutic. I turn to my brushes and canvas each time I am struggling with something. It is great therapy for children too.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Creativity especially art can be a brilliant activity. You’ve given ideas of some great activities here and I really enjoyed reading this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Art is real therapy. I am encouraging my daughter more and more to try out different forms of art. I can see a lot of difference in her overall behaviour after this. This works.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You have listed such innovative and interesting ideas using art therapy specially emotions circle. Though I myself am not that interested in art never really had an hang of it but I believe that to de stress you should divert your kids mind towards an hobby of choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Art therapy is really important for kids mental health. You mentioned all the right kind of activities for kids. I still remember, I used to encourage my daughter to draw family picture or self portrait when she was young.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My son loves to draw and show his emotions and so also his skeletonish family photo art. His drawing is not that great but his colour combination sense is fantastic. I will try making him paint once.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mental health is an important topic to discuss, more so in this pandemic. Your post offers good ways for kids to explore emotions, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem, and resolve other psychological conflicts.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Art is definitely therapeutic and it is important to teach kids to be creative by painting and expressing their emotions through colours. Very good post, I also learned new things like the emotion circle.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It is very much important to involve in art. I loved the way child described emotion. Also the last lineart washes away every day dirt.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Very lovely post!!! We have tried Music and Art for Kindergarten students – 400+ at one single time together and the results were mind-boggling and amazing. Agree with all aspects and observations and it is always worth every try. Great great post!!! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Art therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.

    Liked by 1 person

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