Making art as a family can help encourage bonding while creating something special for the holidays.
Creating art together as a family this holiday season allows a parent to possibly gain better insight into how their child is feeling or thinking by encouraging them to participate in arts and crafts activities or other activities.
Arts and crafts, for example, are a great way for youth to turn to their endless imagination all while doing something productive and expressive with it through creativity. There are many materials and activities to choose from, which can allow children and the family to explore different creative and artistic options that they find the most enjoyable.
Doing art as a family also encourages quality time together and this holiday time is a perfect opportunity for that along with self-care and wellness time through art making. There are many art activities you can do as a family and even the planning can be a beneficial, fun bonding experience.
Together you can discuss and explore the type of art you hope to achieve. Then the whole family can have fun searching for or purchasing the materials needed as a fun outing together.
Art is a healthy way to spend time with the family. This also allows for learning an entirely new skill together and for a healthy, fun way to express through creativity.
Here are a few art activities (with many more on arttherapyoc.com) that you can try out this holiday season.
Collaborative Canvas: This is where each individual will have their own canvas with the idea that all the canvases connect to make one image. So each person, in a sense, has a piece of each other. For example, maybe this holiday season you might make a winter scene with holiday images that are meaningful or symbolize you as a family. Another way you can try this activity is through incorporating holiday music and every time the song ends, you switch canvases (rotating as many times as you’d like) so that everyone can contribute the art making on each canvas. You will end up with your original canvas at the end, but it will have a special touch from each person that contributed. For both of these examples you’d need a pencil. You could use canvas with acrylic paint, watercolor paper with watercolor paint, or just use crayons, colored pencils or markers on a sheet of paper.
Crafty Collage: This is a great holiday art activity for younger kids and their parents. It is super easy and the materials used can be things found around your home, but you can also incorporate crafty, fun items you purchase if you like. To start, you can paint the canvas or watercolor/color a sheet of paper with any color or color design you choose. Then, you can use glue to apply holiday-themed elements, or just any items you and your kids like or find around the house — including fabric/ribbon, magazine cutouts, photos, stickers, buttons, pom-poms or glitter — all while overlapping each item or decorating it how you’d like for personal, creative expression.
Emotion/Feeling Wheel Mandala: This final activity to try this holiday season is an absolutely great opportunity to check in with your kids and as a family by expressing and sharing thoughts and feelings through art. This can be done in an art journal and by using any of the materials mentioned already. Start by creating a circle. Next, you separate the circle into “pie” slices with a drawing tool and it can be either for six or eight sections depending on your preference. Then you will assign each slice with a feeling that you can each personally choose. Or you can all do the same ones and later discuss that feeling or choose emotions/feelings that you all might be experiencing at that given time/holiday season. Finally, you will use the color tools you choose to illustrate each emotion or feeling in the sections by first closing your eyes and tuning into (with mindful breathing) what that looks like to you, whether it’s through specific colors or patterns.
Diana Shabtai, Psy.D., ATR-BC, aka “Miss Dee,” created Art Therapy OC in 2012 as a fun and encouraging place to explore art and its therapeutic benefits.