Thinking Outside of the Box: Creative Ways to Help Children Express Their Emotions (Part 2)

In my last post, I asked you to start considering ways in which children may express their emotions in ways other than directly talking about their own emotions.   I promised a follow up post sharing some specific ideas and here it is!

The dictionary defines express as:

  • to put (thought) into words; utter or state
  • to show, manifest, or reveal
  • to set forth the opinions, feelings, etc., of (oneself), as in speaking, writing, or painting
  • to represent by a symbol, character, figure, or formula

The ideas that I share in this post could be used as ways to help children express their emotions, but can also be very helpful in processing and coping with emotions.   For the purposes of this post, I consider an idea creative or “outside of the box” if it goes beyond just expecting children to verbally share their emotions with us.  If you observe your children, you may realize that they are already using some of the techniques described below to process their emotions or situations that they have encountered.   Other children may benefit from being given permission to use one of the following techniques to share their emotions.

If your children enjoy writing, they may find the following techniques helpful:

  • Writing poetry
  • Journaling
  • Writing stories about their own experiences or a fictional character
  • Letter writing (the child does not have to send the letter)
  • Writing a “feelings” book

If your children enjoy art, they may find the following techniques helpful:

  • Drawing
  • Scribbling
  • Painting
  • Sculpting with clay or play dough
  • Collage
  • Illustrating a “feelings” book

If your children enjoy music, they may find the following techniques helpful:

  • Writing their own music
  • Choosing music to listen to that represents their mood
  • Modifying an existing song to reflect their emotions
  • Playing music

If your children enjoy expressing themselves verbally, they may find the following techniques helpful:

  • Talking about themselves
  • Discussing someone else who has experienced a similar situation
  • Telling a story about a fictional character
  • Reading an emotions related book and discussing it.

If your children enjoy physical activity, they may find the following techniques/activities helpful:

  • Designing a dance sequence to express their emotions
  • Choosing an exercise, sport, etc that allows the child to express or release their emotions

What “out of the box” ways have you found effective in helping your children express their emotions?  I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

You are also invited to follow me on social media where I am committed to sharing outside of the box exercises, prompts and activities that may help you support your children in expressing their emotions.  I can be found on FacebookTwitter and Google+

8 thoughts on “Thinking Outside of the Box: Creative Ways to Help Children Express Their Emotions (Part 2)

  1. i love these creative ways to express emotions. I definitely encourage my girls to use their words to express emotions, but I’ve never thought to use music or art. Great ideas!

  2. Kathryn, Thanks for commenting. I’m happy that this post gave you some new ideas.

  3. I love this tips. Thank you for sharing them! I’ll try to memorize these techniques to use when my daughter is a little older. She likes to dance, so I think physical activity exercises would work for her best!

  4. Thanks for the positive feedback on the tips I shared. Dance and movement can be a great way for children to express, process and cope with emotions.

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