Hand of a child covered in blue paint

Social Emotional Learning Art Activities for Children

Whether it’s at school or in the home, learning is an important part of what it means to grow up. But because learning is so often associated with the classroom, it might not always seem like the most fun for kids.

Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for kids to engage in social emotional learning art in a way that offers up fun! Many activities can also provide the opportunity for a child to express their creativity and really get involved in the process.

There may be many ways for social emotional learning skills to be integrated into the classroom. However, artistic activities can provide the perfect balance of new skills and creativity to really fuel a child’s fire! Read on to learn more about SEL art activities that can really put the focus on social emotional learning.

Craft a Vision Board

Few things are more fun for a child than pulling out the scissors and the glue, and creating crafts! Fortunately, making a vision board with a variety of their favorite pictures, images, and quotes can also be the perfect opportunity for added education! Also known as a dream board, this type of collage is designed as a source of inspiration and motivation so a child can picture their goals and work towards them.

To create a dream board that is inspired by social emotional learning art activities, a child can search for pictures or quotes that are aligned with social emotional skills. For example, if they’re focused on friendships, they can include a quote about friendship or a photo of their friends. Or, if they’re trying better to understand their feelings, they may want to find pictures that visualize their own emotions.

As a source of inspiration and daily focus, a vision board can help a child with decision-making so they can keep an eye on their goals!

Create Conversation Cubes

Like the popular paper fortune tellers, a conversation cube is a great way to get children talking. Luckily, this fun childhood craft is one of the best social emotional art activities for elementary students!

Have your child create a cube with a number of different questions that revolve around their emotions and how they feel in certain situations. They can decorate the cubes however they choose, and create drawings that utilize their artistic side. Once they’re done, they can take turns asking friends and family the questions they’ve come up with.

By doing this, children will be able to use their creative skills to get crafting. They’ll also be able to learn more about the experiences of others, and expand their emotional vocabulary through expressing their own!

Paint the Emotion

Understanding emotions and being able to express them in a healthy way is an important part of social emotional learning. Fortunately, learning about emotions doesn’t have to be all about conversation for children. Instead of talking, sometimes it can be best to employ the paintbrush!

To get a child to understand and express what an emotion means to them, grab some paper, and get out the paint. Provide a few emotions for a child to react to like anger, sadness, or happiness. Get them to provide a painting of what that emotion looks like to them by using color, shapes, or even a specific moment in their life.

This exercise can be a great way to get children to tap into their artistic ability. But it can also be a meaningful way of providing them with a deeper understanding of an emotion. It’s only through understanding an emotion or feeling that a child will learn how to deal with it.

Make a Story from Scratch

Whether in a classroom or for a small group of children, telling a story together can be a creative way to translate experience! A child can easily start a story with ‘once upon a time’ for a social emotional learning art activity that everyone will enjoy.

There’s no doubt that this type of storytelling can engage a child’s imagination and make for plenty of laughs. But it also has the added benefit of serving as an SEL art tool. Because children will have to engage in a story and use their listening skills, they’ll begin to understand cause and effect. They’ll also be able to learn about the emotions related to a story and how others share those emotions.

Craft a Gratitude Box

Gratitude is an important part of what it means to have a healthy mindset, whether you’re young or old. It’s also important for a child to learn that gratitude doesn’t have to be about big things! In fact, it can be about simple appreciation for a flower, a friendship, or time at the playground.

Whether a child has a creative streak or not, making a gratitude box can inspire them to think about what they appreciate in their life. They can start by using their artistic skills to make their own unique box. Once it’s done, they can put pieces of paper into the box that list the things they appreciate. They may also want to write down positive self-talk phrases for life’s more difficult moments.

By pulling them out, a child will be instantly reminded of all the good things in the world! As a means of having them realize what’s important and being grounded in it, a gratitude box can be a fun, SEL art activity.

Fun Activities Make for Social Emotional Learning!

There’s a time when it’s best to learn in a classroom or from a textbook. However, the necessity of a more traditional education doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways for a child to learn new skills!

When it comes to social emotional learning art activities, there are many ways to use creativity to build relationships and work on self-awareness. From developing empathy to making friends, a little art can open up the mind and help a new awareness to flourish.

Is your child in need of a way to express their emotions? Roll With It: The Game that Helps You Cope is a fun game that will help them deal with big feelings in a more mindful way! By giving them the skills to speak up, they’ll be able to express what they need and resolve many of life’s situations without any big hurdles.


Better Kids, Ltd. 5 Art Activities for Social Emotional Learning. https://betterkids.education/blog/5-art-activities-for-social-emotional-learning

We Are Teachers. 20 Fun SEL Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten. https://www.weareteachers.com/social-emotional-activities-early-years/

Teaching Expertise. 30 Social Emotional Learning Activities for Elementary. 30 Social Emotional Learning Activities for Elementary



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