Children may be experiencing a lot of emotions about things going on in the world. As children are exposed to information about things like the COVID-19 pandemic, protests for racial justice, and politics from their grown-ups and caregivers, they need space to process their associated emotions and thoughts.
Providing children safe, creative outlets to express their emotions is a great way to make them more comfortable in the world around them, and in their own skin.
For early learners (ages 0-5), art and writing can be great avenues to begin talking about emotions and expressing feelings. Art and writing activities in a positive, safe environment help children to develop confidence in their art and writing skills and to understand that art and writing are forms of meaning-making, expression, and communication.
Engaging your child in writing activities or art-making allows children to express their feelings in a meaningful way, all while learning the skills they will need to be successful in school!
Here are some activities to try at home:
- Paint with baby! Engaging baby with paint or other mediums of making art gives them an introduction into making art and helps them become familiar with colors. Just make sure to supervise baby and utilize baby safe painting materials.
- Begin talking with babies about emotions at a young age. Demonstrate facial expressions for them and vocalize how they or you are feeling.
- Really listen when your child shares their art and writing with you. Ask them questions about the process of making art or early scribbles—why they choose certain colors, how their work makes them feel, etc.
- Display your child’s art! When your child can feel proud of the art and writing they created, they will want to continue making things and sharing them.
- Encourage your child to express their feelings through art or writing. This action helps provide your child a creative outlet for their thoughts and show them that words and art carry meaning!
-Mandy, Children’s Team, Martha Cooper Library
Read, Write, Talk, Sing, Play!
When children are given a chance to explore scribbling, draw pictures, and tell stories, they are learning reading skills. Being an active participant in writing helps keep children excited about reading stories.
Read more about early literacy and how you can make a difference in your child's life.