Arts and crafts activities for anger management

Written by dawn sutton
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Arts and crafts activities for anger management
Arts and crafts activities may help children to express anger in healthy ways. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Anger, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone, children and adults alike, feel angry at times. However, there are healthy ways to express anger. Try arts and crafts activities for anger management. Artistic endeavours provide the opportunity to express negative feelings and prevent them from festering inside. Art therapy to control angry feelings is an effective coping method.

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Drawing and painting

When a child is angry, give him some crayons and a piece of paper and let him get out all his pent-up anger with a picture, whether it is identifiable or just plain angry lines and squiggles. Ask the child to tell you about the picture but refrain from saying anything negative about it. Let him paint if he prefers painting. The combination of expressing his feelings through art and by talking is effective for anger management, especially when you teach him additional healthy ways to deal with anger.

Hidden heart balloon craft

This anger-management craft helps children, teens and adults learn how holding anger inside is negative and can be damaging emotionally. Hand out a small balloon, a pencil, scissors, piece of paper and piece of a ribbon to the individual or group. Ask them to cut the paper small enough to fit inside the balloon. They should write down all their hurts and offences on the slips of paper and put them inside the balloon. Have everyone blow up their balloons and follow this with a discussion, explaining how people keep anger inside that never goes away unless you deal with it. Pop the balloons symbolically to represent releasing the anger through forgiveness and choosing to let it go for their own sake.

Sand tray therapy

Playing with sand may seem childish, however, it is a very therapeutic, artistic activity for people of any age. Present children with a tray of sand and lots of small toys -- such as dolls, cars and animals -- and ask them to make up a story. The adult may have different items to place in the sand that represent parts of her life, such as work and parenting. Ask the sand artist to explain her sand-art piece, especially in terms of describing feelings. This art activity may help to identify the roots of her anger.

Feelings arts and crafts for preschoolers

The earlier children learn about identifying and expressing feelings in acceptable ways, the better. Have the children create a "feelings collage" by gluing pictures of people's faces onto paper and then describing how the people are feeling. Talk about how the people could feel better if they had identified negative feelings, such as anger. Alternatively, use colours, stickers or stamps on paper to represent different feelings.

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