Skip to main content

Heartful Art: Playful Ways to Build Compassion

This recycled art is a great way to help kids focus on feelings, character development, social skills and being more compassionate.  As a therapist, I can think of at least 10 different ways to use these, and also, about a hundred other ways in which I might expand on this notion in sessions, to help kids deal with grief and loss, anger, divorce, trauma and more.  I love using creative therapies with kids, adolescents and families.  But this activity can easily be utilized in homes and classrooms.

Home/Classroom Use

For now, I'll share a few ideas on how use these these at home or in the classroom:

1.  Keep them in a bowl or bag and pull one out each day and discuss how your family/classroom can focus on that idea for the day or week.

2.  As your family focuses on each concept, track all the varied ways in which they do so by creating a construction paper link chain.

3.  Have each person pick one concept or idea that they need MORE of in their life, and find out how the rest of the family/classroom can support them in that endeavor.

Keepin' It Simple

I like things that are simple, but drive home a memorable lesson.  Things just "hook" better in our brains that way.  Having something tangible to hold, see and keep as a reminder of something that is being worked on is generally a helpful thing.  Pulling these "Heartful Art" hearts together literally took about 5 minutes for each one of them! 

Here's How

1.  Cut out heart shapes from newspaper or old books.

2.  Decorate as you and white or full out color.

3.  Prepare to Stuff

4.  Use crumpled up tissue paper or newspaper

5.  Stitch the sides together, leaving a space large enough to get your stuffing in

Never sewed before? Use a simple tacking stitch to attach the front and back of the hearts. Otherwise, I bet you could do this with a glue stick or a stapler.  (In fact, I know you can, because I've done it that way with younger kids before!)

6.  Enjoy!  Play away!  Have fun! 

Add as many feelings, ideas, concepts or positive thoughts as you see fit!

How will you use Heartful Art?  Tell us below!  We love to hear from you!

As always, from Kidlutions, we wish you Happy Parenting {and Teaching}!

If you're new here, you can sign-up for our

 to get great news about how to raise and teach well-adjusted, socially competent kids!  We hope to see you there!  You'll also get our set of MORE than a DOZEN PRINTABLES for FREE! 

This post was sponsored by:

To find out how to sponsor a post, go here.


Maria Manore said…
Hi Wendy,
These compassionate hearts are too cute! What a lovely idea. I'm so glad you discovered my blog. Now I am your follower as well and I'm thrilled to discover another Spartan in the blogosphere.


Welcome aboard! So glad to have you and thanks for following! If you adapt these for use in Kindy, I'd love to see! I already have a vision of a way to use these with the younger crowd!

Looking forward to Spartan football and hockey! Go Green!

Wendy =)
Kathy Radigan said…
I love this idea! What a great way to get kids to talk about their feeling and open a conversation about how we can affect another persons day. Thank you for sharing this link with our Bonbon Break readers!

My pleasure. Thanks for inviting me to join in on the fun on Bonbon Break!

Wendy =)
Pennies of Time said…
This is fantastic! I am always trying to find a connection with art and the daily acts of service that I do with my boys. I am pinning it to share with my followers and am off to see what other gems you have here. Thank you for this idea!

Popular posts from this blog

10 Things That Can Hurt Your Child's Self-Esteem

Self-esteem.  We all want our kids to have it.  We hear tons about HOW to improve our child's self-esteem. What we sometimes don't know are the things that can actually HURT our child's burgeoning sense of self.
A World of Endless Possibilities
When our kids have self-esteem, the world is an endless source of possibilities.  Possessing an awareness of one’s self that includes confidence and the ability to be an effective agent in one’s own life has a significant impact upon happiness across the lifespan.  The question is how to help our kids develop and maintain it for life.  Helping to instill this characteristic is not as elusive as you might think. 
There are many parenting strategies that contribute to raising ethical, successful and confident kids. Bloom: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids, which I co-authored with Dr. Lynne Kenney, highlights an approach which is the most promising way I know to raise incredible peop…

How BIG is Your Child's Anger?

What Size is Your Child's Anger?
Whenever I work with a child with anger issues, I like to have them describe the size of their anger.  Is it small, medium, large or super-sized?  Some kids never move beyond "medium" while others go from "small" to "super-sized" in mere seconds.  We can thank temperament for that, in large part. 
If you parent a child with a strong temperament and BIG feelings, you are probably no stranger to "large" and "super-sized" displays of anger.  I have certainly seen my fair share, both as a mom and as a therapist. 
The Good News
The good news is, we can help our kids learn how to regulate BIG feelings by giving them opportunities to talk about their feelings, name their feelings and identify ways to "shrink down" the intenstiy of it all.  I know that this works, because I've seen it in action (both at home, and at my office).
Simply download our free printable to start the discussio…

Why Labeling Feelings is So Important: Beyond Mad, Sad & Glad

Helping kids put their feelings into words (affect labeling) can help them better navigate strong, negative emotional experiences. We tend to "keep it simple" when talking about feelings with young children and may often stick to the basics, such as mad, glad and sad. That is all well and good. Once our children have mastered that, we can move on to a bigger variety of emotionally descriptive words. We can increase our child's understanding of a bigger expanse of feelings by broadening the terms we use.

Stumped about what feeling words to use beyond the three aforementioned? Try some of these on for size...

BraveCheerfulWorried JoyfulFrightenedCalmExcitedConfusedFrustratedCuriousFriendlyShy IgnoredLonelyInterestedProudEmbarrassedJealousAngryBored Surprised SillyUncomfortableStubbornSafeRelievedPeaceful OverwhelmedLovingCranky

Why it Matters:

We've long thought that naming our feelings could help us manage negative emotional states, but we weren't quite sure how exact…