Art Therapy with Children

Children process their life experiences through art and play.

Play activities might include making stories in the stone tray, playing with puppets and dolls, or movement-based play. Children are usually very skilled at knowing how they want to play in therapy!

Some kids really enjoy drawing and painting. Other children prefer building things from upcycled materials – cardboard tubes, fabric, feathers, ribbons, shells, beads and more.

Sometimes we might use modeling compound to make small sculptures.


Children typically enjoy participating in art therapy.

It can take them some time to understand how to use therapy to reduce their stress and express feelings of sadness or fear.

Over time, most children learn greater awareness of what they are feeling; an increased capacity to use words to express their experience and ask for help; and expand their range of possible solutions to challenging situations. Learning and practicing ways to self-regulate helps children to become calmer and decreases relational conflicts.

At the beginning of therapy, I meet with the adult or adults in the family without the child present. If parents are not together, each parent would schedule a separate meeting.

Next we would have at least one meeting with both adult and child in the room.

Sometimes we continue to work in this way, and sometimes we shift to the child being in therapy by themselves, with family sessions once every six weeks or so.

In addition, parents or guardians will continue to meet with me without the child present, about once every six weeks.

<strong>Stone tray story</strong>
Stone tray story