Mindful Arts Therapy
15 Mindful Art Therapy Activities for Preteens
Mindful arts therapy provides preteens with a safe and creative outlet to explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. By engaging in various art forms, such as painting, drawing, or storytelling, preteens can learn to cultivate mindfulness and gain valuable insights into themselves. It is an innovative approach that combines the principles of mindfulness with artistic expression.
Through the process of creating art, they can express their thoughts and emotions in a non-verbal way, allowing for a deeper exploration of their inner world. This form of therapy recognizes that art has the power to communicate and heal, making it an effective method for preteens to navigate the complexities of their lives.
Here are 15 fun art therapy activities to help boost your preteen’s confidence and help them recognise and understand their unique values.
Remember always show – Gratitude, Empathy and Kindness!
Before you begin these activities, practice mindfulness. Follow these instructions and use them each time you are feeling stressed.
Sit in a quiet area. Make sure you are sitting comfortably. Close your eyes. Take three, slow deep breaths in, imagine you are surrounded by a golden light. As you breathe out, become aware of your body. How does it feel? Acknowledge areas of pain or stress, let them go. Now, let go of any thoughts in your mind and begin this activity.
Dance along with your favourite music clip each day.
Any kind of movement is good for our physical wellbeing and our mental. Even if you can’t dance and you feel awkward, just dance. Dance in the privacy of your room or with a friend. Dance when you are happy and importantly, dance when you are sad. Playing upbeat music and moving to it will help improve your mood and strengthen your body – it’s also a lot of fun.
2. Draw Circles
Grab a piece of paper and choose your favourite drawing tool – pencils, crayons or pastels, it is up to you. Before you begin, take deep breaths, and draw large circles all over it. Reflect: How are you feeling? Drawing circles is a meditative process that helps us feel calm and more at peace. Choose your favourite colours and change colours if you wish. It doesn’t matter how big or small your circles are. You can draw circles inside other circles, just remember to fill up the page and take long, deep breaths as you go.
3. Mindful Walk
Go outside for a mindful walk and collect some leaves and twigs from nature. Walking mindfully is easy. All you have to do is think about what you are doing. How is your body feeling? What does the ground feel like under your feet? What can you see or smell? Is the wind touching your face? Spend time enjoying the movement of your arms, your head and your legs.
Is there a younger person you could mentor and help out in some way? With your parent’s or a guardian’s permission, see if there is someone you can help in some way. Perhaps you could spend time drawing with them or reading to them. When we do things for others, we feel better about ourselves. We are also able to offer guidance and support in the way of friendship.
5. Superhero You!
Draw yourself as a superhero! You already have some amazing qualities. Take a deep breath and think about them for a few minutes. Make a list and then start drawing. As a superhero, are you going to wear a cape? What colours are you going to use?
6. Honesty and Truth-telling
I invite honesty and truth telling – colouring worksheet. Complete the activity (you can download the link below). Being honest and telling the truth is important because it means we can be trusted and respected. Has there ever been a time when telling the truth was difficult? Sometimes being honest is hard, but we build valuable skills each time we tell the truth with ourselves and others.
7. Get Moving!
Physical exercise is important for good brain function – join a sporting club, go for a walk or a jog. If you have a dog, take it out for a walk. Moving our bodies in the fresh air is a great way to clear our minds. We release all those feel-good hormones that make us feel better about ourselves and the physical activity will make your muscles and bones stronger.
8. Handy Values
Draw your hand and inside each finger write five values that are important to you, such as kindness, integrity, and patience. Draw the things that bring you joy around it and put it somewhere to remind you of your unique self.
9. Being Kind
Create a comic strip of gratitude. Draw a number of rectangle squares on a piece of paper and write some ideas about how you can draw yourself being kind. It might be sharing your water bottle with a dying flower or patting a dog. Perhaps you could draw yourself helping out at home or reading to someone.
10. Love on a String
Sew a chain of hearts and give it to someone in your family or your best friend. You will need some coloured fabric cut into heart-shaped pieces. If you want to make three hearts, you will need six pieces (front and back). You will also need something to stuff them with (you could use the filling from a clean, old soft toy). Sew your hearts together and leave a gap so you can put in the stuffing. Then sew pieces of ribbon in between each heart, so they hang one under the other. Give your string of hearts to someone special who you are grateful for.
11. My Unique Self
Create a collage from magazine pictures that represent positive things about you! Do a short mindful, deep breathing exercise then start looking through old magazines for images that represent your unique self. Choose images which reflect your virtues, such as kindness, generosity or creativity. Paste them on a sheet of paper and put it somewhere you can see it each day to remind yourself of how great you are.
12. My Words and Actions
I am aware of the impact of my words and actions – Colour this worksheet. Complete the activity (you can download the link below). When we say things and do things there are always consequences. Sometimes these are good and sometimes they are bad. By being aware of those consequences, we can choose to do the right thing and help each other.
13. Lost Dog
What would you do if you saw a lost dog? Write down at least 7 things you could do to help the dog find its owners. What could you do while you were waiting for someone to help? Does the dog need a drink of water, for example.
14. Tree of Values
Draw a tree that represents your skills and qualities. At the roots, write what values you have, such as kindness, generosity etc. Around the leaves, write how you put those values into action.
15. Thank you!
Write a Thank You note to someone special in your life. This might be someone in your family, friends or someone else in your community, such as your coach or teacher. Write what things you are grateful for. These might include how they helped you with homework or washed your favourite jacket. They might also include how they laugh at your jokes or share stories with you.