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5 Crafts for Kids That Allow Self- Expression

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Understanding and expressing emotions is hard enough for adults. For kids, it’s even more challenging. Teaching them healthy ways to communicate and manage their feelings instills valuable life skills and helps them grow into emotionally stable adults. There are lots of ways to help your child learn how to express themselves, but crafting is one of the best. As they learn how to express creativity, through crafts for kids, they will develop healthy coping mechanisms and find new ways to work through their emotions.

Craft stores are filled with supplies for kids, but it’s not always easy to figure out which ones are best for self-expression. Models and coloring books are great, but they don’t leave much room for creativity. Instead, you should look for crafts that allow your son or daughter to explore various supplies and express themselves through their creations. Keep reading to discover a few awesome crafts for kids that allow for self-expression.

diamond art painting is one of the Crafts for Kids That Allow Self Expression
Source: skimin0k/Shutterstock.com

Diamond Painting

If you have heard of diamond painting but think it is just for adults, think again! This craft is suitable for people of all ages, and it’s a great way for kids to express themselves. Diamond art kits come in all sorts of fun and colorful designs. No matter your child’s interests, there are kits with designs they are sure to love.

Diamond painting is a fantastic way to help your son or daughter express themselves creatively when they feel like they aren’t good at drawing or painting. With diamond art, it doesn’t take any special skills to create incredible works of art. With patience and a little bit of practice, any kid can enjoy the satisfaction of completing a stunning piece of art featuring a design they love.

Making Word Collages

Sometimes, kids have a hard time coming up with the right words to describe their big feelings. Even if they have a relatively large vocabulary, it isn’t always easy to articulate how they are feeling. Making word collages makes it a bit easier to get those difficult emotions out and healthily express them. This project is super easy, too, and requires only a few basic supplies you probably already have at home:

  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paper

Give your child some old magazines and encourage them to flip through the pages to find words or phrases that match their feelings and cut them out. Have them glue those words/phrases onto a piece of construction paper, poster board or even a regular piece of printer paper to form a collage. This particular craft for kids helps them find words to describe their feelings and put their emotions on paper rather than holding them inside.

creating a feelings inventory is another craft for kids that encourage self-expression
Source: terng99/Shutterstock.com

Creating a Feelings Inventory

Making a feelings inventory is a fun project that gives young kids a tangible place to hold their emotions. And one of the great things about this project is that your child can complete it using whatever arts and crafts supplies they already have.

Start by having your daughter or son sculpt, draw or paint a container. They could even decorate an empty jar or box to use as their container. Another fun option is having them lie down on a large sheet of paper and tracing an outline of their body to use as the “container.” Whether it’s a physical container, a picture of a box or something else, ask your child to fill it up with words, objects and images representing how they feel.

Creating a feelings inventory gives your child a tangible representation of their emotions, making them seem more “real” and manageable.

Drawing or Painting

Drawing or painting is another of our crafts for kids that encourages self-expression. You don’t have to be the next Picasso or Rembrandt to express yourself through drawing or painting. Even if your child is just a toddler, sitting them down with some crayons or paint and some paper and encouraging them to draw or paint what they feel can be very therapeutic. Let them know that there is no right or wrong way to express themselves through art, and ask them to do whatever feels right in the moment.

If you have an older child, ask them to work through their feelings through more complex exercises. Have them draw their inner critic or paint representations of their most difficult emotions. No matter what they create, remember not to judge! This type of project should be completely judgment-free and allow your son or daughter to express themselves without fear.

a child journaling as one of the 5 Crafts for Kids That Allow Self Expression
Source: Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock.com

Journaling

Journaling doesn’t have to be all about writing. Your child can also use their journal as a place for expressing themself through collage, drawing and other activities. Encourage your son or daughter to spend some time each day writing about their feelings, jotting down poems they find meaningful or even making collages with images that catch their attention.

Keeping a journal offers many mental health benefits, so it is a great project to instill in your child when they are young. Remember, though, that a journal or diary is something that kids would generally prefer to keep private. Unless your son or daughter offers to show you something they have written, drawn or otherwise created in their journal, keep your hands (and eyes) off it.

Closing Thoughts

Crafting is an excellent way for people of all ages to express themselves and their emotions. It’s especially great for kids, though, who may not have yet developed skills for dealing with complex emotions.

When encouraging your child to express themselves through crafts, remind them that it’s all about the process — not the finished project. Let them enjoy the moment without worrying whether they’re doing it “right.” And, of course, never make your child feel bad for expressing difficult emotions. Like adults, they experience a wide range of feelings and need to let them out without fear of judgment or repercussion. Allowing this will help your child grow into an emotionally balanced adult who can appropriately express their feelings rather than bottling them up or lashing out.

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