Creating art as a form of self expression has countless benefits. Starting this artsy self expression young means kids are comfortable and well versed with getting their feelings out via artistic measures. Sounds good, right? But where to start….
Try this easy little printable book as a stepping stone to getting your kids to engage in some really meaningful art. It doesn’t have to be hard or fancy to be important to them. Baby steps.
Why choose art…
I’ve always been what I thought of as “high strung.” Easy going and relaxed, as hard as I might try, are just not my mode of operating.
Making stuff, making anything, literally brings my personality down a notch. Long before I had any inkling of the scientific reasoning behind it I instinctively knew. Making things makes me a better, nicer, calmer person.
That’s true for lots of kids too. So before they even know it try providing them with some tools to use to express whatever is going on in life!
I’m just a mom…
Let me start by saying I’m no art therapist. I’m a mom, an artist myself, and an art teacher. I’ve seen the “power of making” first hand in myself and my kiddos.
Teaching art can be intimidating if you’re not an art teacher. (It doesn’t need to be though! Check out this list of awesome books to help you teach art even if you’re not an artist!)
Feelings can be scary….
Teaching about art and feelings….a double whammy. Am I right?
Any adult that has ever asked a group of kids a question knows you just never know what you’re gonna’ get. Could be funny, is off topic more than not, and is sometimes jaw dropping. Little people deal with a lot.
What I like about using art as an outlet is that it doesn’t have to be a public discussion. What that child is thinking and writing can be just for them, or for talking about later. Kids may want to share and they may not. Make that their choice. Art is personal.
Where to start…
One of the best ways to facilitate getting kids to make art that allows self expression and is therefore meaningful to them is to get out of the way. Literally, step aside.
Kid’s don’t need complicated directions, or a precise array of materials to grow and develop.
Art doesn’t have to be pretty or follow a lot of complicated directions to be life changing.
Let them make stuff, often, and with abandon. Praise the making not the finished product. Talk about it or not; take your cue from the artist.
This simple printable book should be the beginning of a self expression journey. Whether you’re using it with a class or your own child I hope this book is just step one of lots of making to get the feelings out.
The list of directions are intentionally small.
Provide a variety of materials. The obvious markers, crayons, and pencils are a great start. But throw in some unexpected items too. Old magazines, newspapers, and washi tape are great additions. Use what you have.
Encourage words, shapes, colors, and marks that mean something to them. (For kids that are intimidated by drawing words and colors can be a pressure free place to start!)
Each page of this book focuses on a feeling. I tried to choose feelings that are pretty universal so that a majority of kids could relate. Don’t let that stop you from adding pages to the book. Blank pages could serve as a sketchbook or journal of sorts for the million and one feelings not listed!
Get the printable…
If you want to grab this free printable self expression book just use the turquoise subscribe box below. You’ll get a subscriber only password that will grant you access to my Resource Library. This printable and dozens of others are all there in PDF form for easy printing. And they’re all free- yippee!