Places2Be launched their first ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ campaign 7 years ago to “shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health”, and this year it’s taking place from 1st-7th February.
This year’s theme is ‘Express Yourself’, and it’s more important now than ever for children to share their feelings, thoughts and ideas. One of the best ways for today’s youth to open up is through creativity, whether that’s through art, music, dance or writing, or any other way they feel comfortable in doing so.
Initiating the sharing can be difficult, so to help little ones express themselves, we’ve taken inspiration from the ‘Abstract Image Art Sequence’ and put together a step-by-step activity for them. Download our printable PDF art templates here.
The aim of the activity is to create 5 different drawings to express how they interpret happiness, sadness, love, anxiety and most importantly, how they are feeling today.
Each drawing should focus on colour, lines and shapes rather than words and images as colours convey messages and evoke emotions meaning it will be a more personal piece of work. Colouring is also a great way of practicing mindfulness and reducing anxiety and stress. The beauty with this activity is that there is no right or wrong outcome.
Once they have completed their drawings get them to place them together side by side and reflect. Discuss with your child how they are feeling now and how they felt during the exercise.
Hopefully your child had fun taking part in the activity and feels calm in the present moment. Why not give it a go yourself? Because not only are we supporting Children’s Mental Health Week but also ‘Time to Talk Day’ which takes place on 4th February.
Adults can also find it difficult to share thoughts and feelings, this is perfectly normal. No matter your age, it’s important to talk about your mental health and how you’re feeling. Lockdown has been tough for many people, so if you’re struggling or know someone who is, this activity could be a great help.
To find out more on Places2Be work and why expressing feelings through particular creative channels helps children, visit their website www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk.
If you’re an adult struggling with your mental health or need someone to talk to, there are a number of platforms available to you including Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/, Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/, the Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ and many more.