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Creative Outlets for Stressful Times

Now that a new year has begun and school seems to be in session for most children, we want to help you help your students be successful in the new year. One way to help foster feelings of self worth and accomplishment is to encourage creativity in daily activities. Creativity can manage stress, increase calm feelings, and bolster enthusiasm for trying new things.

Some simple classroom ideas include

  • having a "mindful minute" where children stop what they are doing and imagine themselves doing their favorite activity

  • playing music and allowing children to write or draw whatever comes to mind

  • encouraging large motor movements, either with music or silently, as a way to stretch, breathe, and relax

  • allowing children to doodle with markers, crayons, pencils, or any other medium

We've got some books that offer suggestions for artistic creative outlets in the classroom. First, to encourage children to think creatively, Think and Make Like an Artist by Claudia Boldt and Eleanor Meredith suggest making paper people (pages 46-47) and working together to create a picture with a partner, starting with a simple squiggle (page 65). Art in Action by Matthew Chavez has a section with projects perfect for school, including a thought mosaic (pages 52-55) and appreciation tokens (pages 58-61). The art of zentangle is a perfect way to allow children to express themselves with patterns and shapes. Sandy Steen Bartholomew's Zentangle for Kidz! is a great place to start.

Writing activities are also a great way to foster creativity in children. Author Jennifer Fandel has two books which give children tips for writing stories and poetry, with You Can Write Awesome Stories and You Can Write Cool Poems. Perfect for the classroom, these books offer multiple writing exercises to help children more fully express themselves creatively with words.

Take some time to build creativity in the classroom and you'll be amazed at what children come up with! 

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