• Creative Mindfulness Week

    Here at China Blue, we understand just how important good mental wellbeing is, from practising self-care to dealing with anxiety and stress. You may believe that mindfulness is only for adults, however it can be a very helpful tool for children and young adults to learn about emotions, communication and dealing with confusing or negative thoughts.

    There are lots of different ways to practice mindfulness, but for those who don’t quite understand what this is or for those who struggle to express how they’re feeling in words, creative mindfulness - or art therapy – can be incredibly helpful.

    This is why we have put together Creative Mindfulness Week! We have come up with seven days of fun, arty activities that can benefit the whole family.

    DAY 1 – SENSORY JARS

    Sensory jars are designed to allow children to develop their senses whilst their brain is making important connections. They can also be used to soothe and calm, perfect for times of anger or upset.

    All you need to begin with is a jar or bottle that is watertight, what you put inside is completely up to you! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    1. Warm water, glitter glue, gel food colouring and glitter – the ultimate calm down jar
    2. Rice or pasta and food colouring – try different colours for a layered effect
    3. Sand, sea shells, and feathers – recreate a beach in a jar and see how many objects you can spot
    4. Letter tiles or foam letters and water – make writing practice fun and see how many words you can make

    sensory jars

    Image sources:

    firefliesandmudpies.com/how-to-make-glitter-jars/
    simplecraftidea.com/make-colored-rice-creativity/
    thechaosandtheclutter.com/archives/at-the-beach-nature-sensory-bottle
    littlebinsforlittlehands.com/letter-discovery-bottle-writing-practice-kids/

    DAY 2 – SURPRISE RAINBOWS

    Rainbows have recently been used to spread hope amongst the community (you may have seen some on your walk or even have one up on your window!) Surprise rainbows are a fun new way to showcase your support, as well as providing mindfulness through colour and activity.

    Method 1

    1. Fold a sheet of kitchen roll in half and, on the top layer, draw the outlines for the rainbow using black permanent marker (it needs to be permanent to ensure the black marker doesn’t bleed). Make sure you press quite hard so that it bleeds through to the second layer.
    2. On the bottom layer, colour in your rainbow using washable makers (make sure the coloured markers are washable, otherwise the colours won’t bleed through).
    3. Add some water to a tray or dish (a shallow layer should be enough), and watch the magic happen as the colourful rainbow appears!

    surprise rainbows

    Image source:

    thebestideasforkids.com/surprise-rainbow-activities/

    Method 2

    1. Use two sheets of kitchen roll and fold them over together.
    2. Draw a rainbow with coloured washable markers on the top layer. Make sure you press quite hard so that the colour saturates the sheet and will bleed through properly.
    3. Use a black permanent maker to draw on top of the coloured sections you had done in the previous step. Keep adding the black until the colours are completely covered.
    4. Now for the really fun part! Use a dropper or straw to add water a bit at a time over the black lines, revealing the colours

    surprise rainbows

    Image source:

    thebestideasforkids.com/surprise-rainbow-activities/

    DAY 3 – POTTERY PAINTING

    Painting is a great form of mindfulness, as it allows the painter to express themselves through colours, brush strokes and patterns. It is also something that the whole family can do together, and is suitable for all ages.

    paint at home kits

    However, for a change from paper or canvas, why not give one of our Paint at Home Ceramic Kits a try? We have put together a pack of everything you need to paint your very own ceramic, with a choice of shapes available. Not only will it provide a calming and mindful activity, you will also be the proud owner of your very own decorated ceramic!

    paint at home kits

    Paint at Home Kit

    Mug

    Shop here >>

    Paint at Home Kit

    Mini Dog Money Bank

    Shop here >>

    Paint at Home Kit

    Zebra

    Shop here >>

    DAY 4 – EMOTION TRACKER

    Sometimes it can be difficult to express how you’re feeling in words, and this can be even harder for children and young adults. Learning how to communicate how you’re feeling is an important step in practising mindfulness, but there are some tricks and tips to make this easier for the young ones, and more fun for them too!

    mood tracker

    Image source:

    adventure-in-a-box.com/free-printable-mood-emotion-wheel-chart-for-children/

    We have created an Emotion Tracker worksheet for you to download and print off. Whilst this worksheet has been designed to be child-friendly, there is no reason why you can’t try it too!

    1. Choose a colour for each of the emotions listed, making sure you use a different colour for each.
    2. Colour in the fish using the colour of how you are feeling in that moment. More than one colour can be used if the person is feeling a mix of emotions.
    3. It is a great exercise for determining how you or your young one is feeling when they find it difficult to explain verbally, which can then be a great gateway to talking about how everyone is feeling and what can be done to help if needed.

    emotion tracker worksheet

     Download and print the worksheet here >>

    DAY 5 – MARK-MAKING

    We have already explained how painting is a great tool for mindfulness for all ages. This method focuses your, or your child’s, mind on your immediate environment which is helpful for grounding, but also develops experimentation and creativity.

    mark making

    Image source:

    theartofeducation.edu/2020/02/17/how-to-collect-the-perfect-mark-making-tools/

    By using various household items to paint with, you will end up with a funky fine art piece for your house that is tonnes of fun to do!

    1. Tape a large piece of paper to a flat surface – this will prevent the paper sliding around when mark-making – and pour different colour paints on a plate ready to use.
    2. Gather any tools that could make an interesting mark. These could include potato masher, forks, spatulas, sponges, old toothbrush, pen lids, explore the whole house to see what else you can find!
    3. Get stuck in by dipping the tools in some paint and stamp/drag/brush across the paper and see how many different marks and patterns you can make.

    mark making

    Image source:
    theartofeducation.edu/2020/02/17/how-to-collect-the-perfect-mark-making-tools/

     DAY 6 – SCAVENGER HUNT

    A very useful technique when practising good mental health is to ground yourself by focusing on the five senses, finding things that you can see, smell, hear, touch and taste. It helps you to familiarise with your environment as well as become more aware of your body’s sensations. This is often used by people who suffer with anxiety, but it can also be suitable for young ones to help them make connections with what they’re experiencing in the moment.

     For this task, we have tweaked this principle and created a worksheet for you to download and print, which adds an element of creativity and fun to the exercise.

    1. Determine the area that can be explored, e.g. a single room, the house, garden etc.
    2. Go down the list and draw three of each thing that you can find that corresponds with that sense. For example, if you are out in the garden, you may be able to smell flowers and hear birds, so draw those on the worksheet. The drawings don’t need to be accurate, in fact the more you engage your imagination the better!
    3. Meet up at the end and compare the drawings of all the found items.

    scavenger hunt

    Download and print the worksheet here >>

    DAY 7 – CONFIDENT LION

     This task is based around self-care and remembering to be positive about yourself, which is something people of all ages should be practising! Writing down positive words and phrases can help reinforce them, and gives you something to look back on when you’re feeling low.

     This worksheet for you to download and print has been designed to be fun through the action of colouring in, but has a deeper meaning by asking the person to write down kind words about themselves, so that they can be as confident as a lion!

    1. In each section of the mane, write down a positive word or phrase about yourself. Some younger children may need a little help with this which is okay, it will help them to hear you communicate your positive thoughts about them.
    2. Colour in the lion with any medium you like, nice bright colours work well!

    confident lion worksheet

    Download and print the worksheet here >>

    If you are unsure, or are struggling to think of positive words, here is an example to get you started:

    confident lion example

    We really hope that you and your family find these creative mindfulness tasks helpful. If you feel your work is personal and wish to keep it private that is absolutely fine, but if you are okay to do so, please post on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages so that we can all share our creativity together!