Art Therapy and Kids

Before you toss out those crayons which have been lying around the living room floor, try to practice those relaxation exercises you learned from anger management class. Breathe ever so deeply, slowly count to ten, and let your anger fly out the window. Instead of scolding your little one for leaving an artful mess on that newly polished floor, take consolation in the fact that aside from having a budding Michelangelo right there, your kid may simply be expressing his feelings and emotions through art.

Art therapy has been around for quite awhile, and children do benefit greatly from it. They seem to be more comfortable expressing themselves through art than verbally. Give them a paint brush and some poster paint, and they can freely paint their cares away.

Emotions are more easily processed when art is combined with music. For preschoolers, finger painting to music works effectively. This likewise proves to work with older kids. One way to do this “emotions exercise” through art is by having the kids choose their own medium. What will work best is music that evokes emotion. If possible, turn the lights off and have the kids draw to the music, encouraging them to just move their paints or pens to the music, without thinking of a certain form. Keep changing the music, so the kids can explore the influence of music on their artwork.

Art therapy also boosts a child’s self-esteem and helps with his personal development. You can do this by having your kid draw something about a skill he has just recently learned. Have him think about something he couldn’t do last year, but can do now. Another way is by having him draw a picture about something he wishes others knew about him.

A child likewise gains a more positive self-image and increases his self-awareness through art. You can help reinforce this by having him make a collage of pictures cut out from magazines which he feels best represents who he is.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. I agree also can release our kids true 6 year old is really good in drawing.. after their father left us and I filed an annulment my friend saw it once and she said look Sie your daughter really draw only three members of your family and an X mark that shows her hatred and the physical abuse she had..herself,her brother and me crying.As months go by I saw drawings inside her locker it became now includes quiet angel and it written I love you dada..truly now she is happy and it shows in her art..supporting our child’s passion in life is i think one way of showing our love to them :)

    • Just keep letting your daughter draw to let out her emotions. It’s good she’s able to express herself that way.

  2. Kristy @PampersandPinot says

    Yes, great ideas to keep in mind!

  3. there’s a play convention in smx this weekend … you might want to check it out :)

  4. i agree too, art is one way to release and express feelings especially for children who are not used to showing or expressing their emotions verbally, at the same time it would let them keep busy while we do our house chores, yet it is also important to ask them afterwards about their artwork, we also must show interest in what they are doing :)

  5. so true! great article sis…thanks for sharing…:)

  6. My son loves painting and drawing and doing artworks! I let him do as much artwork as he wants to develop his creativity and imagination, and yes, we always get “I love you” cards from him, too. And it’s great to know that art is a therapy for kids, too, so that’s hitting two birds with one stone!

  7. Impossible Mom says

    I’m just getting to know you and your blog {I was particularly drawn to it because you are a single mom}. I really enjoyed this post-my daughter is only five and can animate. She is very very good at drawing expressions on the face (such as eye brows placed appropriately for shock, anger, disappointment, surprise, etc. I think it is amazing that she is able to draw characters and really bring their emotions to life. In fact-maybe I should share some of her drawings this weekend on my own blog. But I really appreciated this post! I recently donated most if my kids toys {they never play w} and created a family art studio… It holds their attention so much better! What kid doesn’t like to tear up and recreate?!!!

    • My daughter is 5 too :)
      thanks for the visit, and for adding my badge to your blog :). I really appreciate it.
      Wow, you’ve got an artistic daughter there! Continue to enhance her talent, and she’ll surely go places.

  8. My daughter loves painting too. I think it’s the best way for child’s development

  9. Impossible Mom says

    Pepper, I’ve been trying to comment back on my blog but it says I don’t have permission! So, I’ve been writing you these long fun responses but they just get trashed because “I don’t have permission to post a comment on my blog!”?? I’m sorry… So, I’m trying OpenID til it will let me use my google account :( Hope this works!

  10. my daughter is an artist and it really helps especially in her case that she is just an only child. she’s got no one to play with but me, but most of the time she is so busy doing artwork where sometimes she would also let me join her. followed u thru G+, ‘hope you’ll follow me back:) TIA!

  11. Yes I think art and music are really important for a child’s development. Great post!

  12. This is definitely a good idea! :)

    Spanish Pinay

  13. lovingly mama says

    hmmmm nice idea…will try this :d

  14. This is goint to be such a great Idea and can be done as easy as 1-2-3. it can also bring fun to the kids.

  15. I’ve seen quite a couple of cases where this therapy had some improvements.

  16. My friend is raised with the music of Mozart. His parents let him stay alone with records of the Requiem, while they were at work. His intelect is amazingly high, he understands things more faster than any of his friends. So, my guess will be, let kids decide what they want, they know what they want, they just need a small push in certain direction and thats all.

    So yes, I agree with your article.

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