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Therapeutic Art Activities

Child in Time has collaborated with ArtBash to bring creative video content to inspire parents, professionals and children. We hope you enjoy the following videos which show you exactly how to do these therapeutic art activities at home.

Feeling Stones

Supporting Attachment and Emotional Regulation

Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how you’re feeling.  And young children might not yet have the words to describe their feelings. These ‘feeling words’ are the gateway to sharing their inner world.

Making feeling stones together can be a creative and tactile way to build an emotional language so that children can start exploring feelings safely in your family (or with a trusted adult). 

When you have finished decorating your stones, put them in a bowl and you can bring them out when feelings need to be shared.  Some children might find it easier to share a feeling by quietly popping a stone into your hand.

Materials: Paper, Posca pens (or acrylic marker/paints), Smooth pebbles, Marker pen, Permanent marker.

It helps to talk about our feelings with a trusted adult.

Worry Dolls

Supporting Attachment and Emotional Regulation

This activity is inspired by Guatemalan traditions where children tell their concerns to Worry Dolls, placing them under their pillow when they go to bed at night.

Creating tiny and completely unique characters made from wooden pegs and found objects is creative and therapeutic.  It encourages self-expression and inspires children to share their worries time and time again, with the help of a little friend.

Put it under the pillow or in a little sock close by to take on that worry for the night.

Materials: Wooden pegs, Scraps of fabric (or coloured paper), Wool, Ribbon, Pipe cleaners, Googly eyes (or draw them on), Scissors, Glue stick, Felt pens, Scraps of coloured paper.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Drawing Beyond

Supporting Emotional Regulation and Reflection

This relaxing activity can support emotional regulation whilst allowing space for gentle reflection and creative exploration.

Have you ever looked at a picture and thought about what could be happening beyond that contained image?  Drawing beyond is a soothing activity that can take you on a creative journey without the pressure to start from scratch. You can create alone or with family or a friend.

It can be abstract with patterns and colours or you may choose to tell a visual story.  Try creating a few drawings beyond and see how differently each one turns out. 

Materials: Large sheet of paper (A3 or A2), Postcard or magazine image, Watercolours, Paint brushes and a water pot, Pencil and Marker pen.

There are many paths you can take.

My Safe Space

Supporting Attachment, Emotional Regulation and Reflection

This activity builds attachment and security, creating special time for children or young people to share and reflect on what makes them feel safe and secure. 

 From your childs imagination, create a place they would feel safe to be and bring it to life in a box.  It could be a place they remember and love or an imagined place they would like to go to.  It could be a cosy room, a place under the sea or somewhere competely out of this world.  Conversations that happen during the making of the box can be treasured and once made, your child can keep it in their room to return to or just bring it to mind when they need reassurance.

Materials: Poster paints, paint brushes and water pot, Scissors and glue, Coloured card or paper, Off cuts of fabric, Found objects, A box (e.g. shoe box).

Enjoy your safe space.  


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Head-teacher of Woolmore School, Tower Hamlets

Parent Consultation: They have become much better at expressing their feelings and opening up to me and their siblings.

Parent, 2023

School Counselling: My son has completely turned around and is simply wonderful at the moment. He is back to his normal self at home, being very happy, caring and kind. He is especial kind and caring with his sister and just the best brother ever now. As a family, we are happy and content.

Parent, 2023

It is quality time well spent not letting pupils leave with negative patterns that make them vulnerable beyond school. One of the best decisions I have made.

Head-teacher of St Saviour’s School, Tower Hamlets

You have helped me build a barrier of protection against pain and I can’t thank you enough for that…I have never felt so emotionally strong.

Student, aged 15

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Tereza Nogueira, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Senior supervisor UKCP

This intervention has had an enormous, positive impact for us all and we sincerely hope that other families benefit from the same programme…his positive behaviour is having a really good impact on all elements of his school life.

Parent of child, age 8

I am glad I am coming to see you every Thursday because I used to hold all these things in my head and that was hard.

Girl, age 10

We are very happy with the counselling service we are receiving and in particular ‘our therapist’s’ flexible and accommodating nature. Parents are very pleased, both the target children’s parents and the consultation one’s too.

SENCO, Rhodes Avenue School, Haringey

She is an outstanding therapist who has made a real difference to the lives of pupils in our school. ‘Our therapist’ possesses excellent skills in connecting with others, creating a safe space for staff, parents and pupils to discuss a range of issues. Her expertise, compassion, and dedication are truly commendable and we have really benefited from her thorough understanding of child development and psychology.

Deputy Head, Highgate Pre-Prep

I want to say thank you. I found these sessions very very helpful. I could talk about anything with you. I remember our first one, when I was so worried that everything was my fault. I can now see things more clearly.

student, age 11