Solutions For Parents


Art as a Tool of Expression

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                                     Art as a Tool of Expression


Art is an excellent way to for children to express themselves.  It is easy and fun 

and it is all around us.   Sometimes children and adolescents struggle to express

their feelings.  One way to help your child explore their feelings and communicate

them in a healthy way is to use art. 


Art can be used to :  express your feeling


                                    relate to one another

                                    relieve stress and anxiety



When children are too young to journal their feelings they can draw them instead.

Drawing makes anger go away.   Draw, Draw, Draw.


How can using your hands relieve anger, tension or frustration in children?  Try playing

with play dough the next time you are angry.  Draw your favorite food or make a craft.


Create a space in your house for expression. 

            There are many ways that you can create a space for expression.  First you’ll

            will need to decide if this is a small area within your child’s room that is used

            solely for that child or is it a larger area that is communal for all family members

            to use.  Both, have benefits.  You may consider a bulletin board, chalkboard or

            dry erase board.   If you have an area that is near a shelf, that will give the child

            extra space for their creativity by providing  somewhere for found objects or three

            dimensional creations.  You can create chalkboard space with special paint

            found at most DIY stores.





Create a journal using an old hardback book.

            This is an excellent way for a child to express himself with or without restriction. 

            Each day can be a page.


            Start by having your child decorate or embellish his/her book.  Hardback books

            work best and larger books give plenty of space for creativity.  You can find books

            at garage sales, library book sales or just books you have around the house.   

            Books that have text as well as pictures also work best.


            Here are some examples of things that kids can do with the pages:

                ·      To create a page about feelings; using old magazines, have your child cut

                        out the various parts of a face and assemble them “creating” a face that

                        describes their mood.  EX:  cut out two eyes (they don’t have to match),

                        a nose and a mouth.  If the mood is sad and they can’t find a sad mouth

                        they can turn the mouth upside down.  As the children get older they can

                        cut out pictures of people that already look sad.  They are old enough to

                        differentiate between body language.  They may also want to cut out a large

                        face and draw on the expression they are conveying.

             ·         Decorate a page to celebrate a special occasion or holiday.

             ·         Use some pages as scrapbooks to save special trinkets.

             ·         Have a “Family Exchange Day”.  Trade books amongst each other and

                       decorate  a page dedicated to the person of the book you have.  

             ·         Create a Zentangle- it is time consuming and relaxing.



            Encourage creativity!  Use paint, scraps of material, found objects

             recycled materials, yarn, chalk etc. The possibilities are endless!

             For children that are of writing age, glue in lined or blank paper

             for written expression.


            Remember to alternate between “free” creative days and “prompted” creative days.

            Giving a child a topic or subject matter to get them started is a helpful way of

            guiding them through areas of expression.  You may want to explore certain topics

            each week such as feelings, behaviors or social issues.  This is a great tool to open up

            discussions with your children.

Ask Dr. Susan