Mindful art helps kids to activate all the senses and really gather their focus and attention in the present moment. There are multiple art activities that you can use as relaxation practice with your child.
Pointillism is a technique of painting introduced by Georges Seurat, a 19th Century artist from Paris, France. One of his most famous paintings, La Grande Jatte, was also made into a play called, A Sunday in the Park with George. To me, it’s relaxing in and of itself to simply gaze at Seurat’s artwork.
This style of artwork can be easily worked into your relaxation practice with kids. Here are a few concepts to discuss as part of the relaxation lesson:
DISCUSS HAVING A SMALL OR BIG PERSPECTIVE
Discuss with your relaxation group the difference in how your body feels when you are in the midst of tension, chaos, and “problems” versus when you get the chance to take a step back, breathe, and consider the stressful situation from afar. Ever notice when you’re in the midst of things, it can feel scattered and stressful? In the middle of strong emotions, everything seems like a “little dot” impacting you and can be an irritation. Just like the close up of Seurat’s painting:
If you get really really close, you can’t even make out that it’s a monkey! When you are really wrapped up in your emotions, you can’t see the bigger picture at all.
GET A BIRD’s EYE VIEW
Most of the time, things appear clearer when we take a step back, get the greater perspective, the bird’s eye view of things. When viewed from space, the earth looks so serene and peaceful and all the little buzzing action that is taking place around the globe can’t be seen. The same is true for our own problems. Sometimes when we are in them, they feel like lots of tiny unrelated dots which can feel like scatter, stress, tension…chaos. But, if we step back, take a deep breath, maybe step away for a moment, then we have the power to calm down, put some space between us and the tension, to breathe, and to begin to allow multiple possible solutions or options to appear for us. Not only that, but often we can see how this present situation is related to other events, challenges, or questions as well.
IDEA FOR RELAXATION PRACTICE
Begin to practice seeing both the small and the big picture. The more you are able to see and differentiate between the two, the better problem solver you will be, the better you will be at using your relaxation tools to relax. The more you practice anything, the better you get at it. The same is true for relaxation. Practice makes it become more automatic when you get in a sticky situation.
POINTILLISM AS BREATHING PRACTICE
First, place a dot on the paper, and count to five while breathing in…
Then, place the next dot on the paper and count to five while breathing out…
Repeat this for several rounds to get in a space of relaxation to complete your picture.
Breathe in…1…2…3…4…5… Breathe out…1…2…3…4…5…
In…paint 5 dots—–Out…paint 5 dots…
Pretty soon you will have practiced a few slow, deep breaths and completed a flower painting while doing it. This is a practice in both mindfulness and relaxation.
Another idea is to create symbols of relaxation: clouds, dandelion fluff, butterflies, feathers, etc…
Display your creations in the relaxation space and refer to them to take a deep breath at the start of your group.
For more pointillism and other art ideas for kids, please visit: https://artfulparent.com/pointillism-art-for-kids/
Or read their wonderful book: