Hi! In case we haven’t met I am Alexis. I am an Artist, homeschooling mama to an Anxiety/OCD kid and a budding Sith Lord. In our family, we use Art to help us handle our emotions. I recently taught a class with my Homeschooling Artists at my studio Little Dreamers Wellness Center about emotions and color using the wonderful book “The Color Monster”. These kids nailed it!
One of my favorite ways to teach art with children is to include a book to start the class. I recently found the cutest book about a monster who displays his emotions by turning different colors.
The Color Monster Art Activity
The Monster first appears in the book as rainbow colored because his emotions are all jumbled up. When our emotions are all jumbled up in us we can be stressed, confused and anxious. The Monster’s friend suggest identifying each of his emotions and putting them in jars so they can see them. Each color represents a different emotion. This is a wonderful lesson in teaching that colors can represent emotion in art. This is also a wonderful way for your child to express what they may not be able to say in words. Art is beautiful that way.
When reading the book I asked the kids to act out emotion. What expression do you make when you are angry?! Sad?! Happy! Scared. I ask them to think about how they are feeling and see if they can identify their emotion.
Additional Reading is The Rainbow Book
Creating our Monsters
A monster is an easy creature for children to draw because they can use their imagination and there is no “wrong”. 3 eyeballs, 8 arms, no feet… it doesn’t matter. The monster is their imagination creation and something so fun to draw.
I have them draw their monster on watercolor paper with a *gasp* Sharpie (with a fair warning about how Sharpies are forever… black oil pastel would work fine too).
Next using a pipette, liquid watercolors and Plastic straw I have them drop their color emotion on their monster. Then we use our deep breaths to blow the liquid water color around on paper. This is a reminder to be mindful of how we breathe.
Ivy chose a calm monster. Her monster is Green, the color of calm. He is in mountain pose and is thinking about peace. Here is a child who strives for calm every day. It makes my heart happy (yellow) to see she has a calm monster.
I really enjoy this activity because it explains beautifully how we can have more than one emotion at once. We can be worried and mad at the same time, we can be happy and sad at the same time. When we are upset, confused and anxious this activity gives children a visual reference to their feelings. I can say to my children “Are you feeling a rainbow right now?” and it is a healthy reminder that it is OK to be a jumble of emotions. I can ask the “what color are you feeling right now?” and it is easier for them express they are feeling Blue(sad) or Red(Angry).
Charlie’s Angry monster. He wasn’t angry when he created it, but you can tell he is clearly in touch with this emotion. It is a little frightening with its intensity. Awesome work for a 6 year old boy. I hope he stays in touch with his emotions as he grows older. That is another perk of incorporating art into emotional wellbeing exercises for children. Visual reminders for powerful lessons on emotions.
Until next time friends.
Check out my art at alexissouthward.com