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 wish...black 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}!

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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!

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