Inspire healthy thinking habits with these projects
By Shannon Fisher
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As a counselor, I see the need for this awareness and for kids to work on learning ways to cope with things that are bothering them. Here are fun crafts that can inspire healthy thinking habits as well.
“I am” art is an easy way to express the positive things you feel about yourself. We took painter’s tape and placed it across thicker paper in lines. Canvas or watercolor paper would work as well. Use any colors of watercolor paint or acrylic for other types of paper to paint over the lines you have created. Allow paint to dry and peel the tape back. Now with a permanent marker, write in words that describe you in a positive way in the white space. Use this art as a reminder of all the amazing things that make you, you!
Another activity is to trace your hands on paper. You may need to help with the tracing for younger children. Now, decorate one for things you want to hold onto like family, friends, pets and hobbies. The other is what you want to let go of such as stressors, anxiety and negative self-talk. Decorate any way you want and color in with markers or colored pencils. You could even cut up magazines to collage the hands as well. Enjoy creating hand art and expressing yourself.
The last one can be used for any age to express the feelings of anger and how to cope with them. Using a brown paper lunch bag, gather it at the top to look like a volcano shape. Next, take red and yellow paper to create lava strips of paper. Using a pen or marker, write on the red strips things you feel when angry. For example, you may have a racing heart, feel hot or feel dizzy. On the yellow, write ways you can help yourself feel better like taking a walk, taking deep breaths or listening to music. Add the strips of paper to the volcano and let them stick out of the top. You can play a game pulling tabs and answering questions or just as a reminder when anger creeps in.
I hope you have a great month of creating mindful crafts that can help you cope with hard things.
Shannon Fisher is a local wife, mom of two girls and owner of Shannon Fisher Photography. She taught high school and elementary art before opening her photography business.