Crafting Calm: Art and Activities for Mindful Kids


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Do you have or know an anxious kid? Or perhaps you are a bit stressed out right now? Let's face it with Covid and all the political happenings life is definitely full of anxiety for us and our kids. Today I am going to share a book written for ages 8 to 12 full of crafts and activities to help kids find ways to calm themselves as well as understand and properly express their emotions. The book is Crafting calm: Art and Activities for Mindful Kids by Megan Borgert-Spaniol and Lauren Kukla and illustrated by Aruna Rangarajan.

This book begins with an introduction. It talks about how life is many things at different times. Then it is divided into five chapters. The first chapter is full of activities and crafts to help calm oneself. The second chapter helps identify and work through emotions. The third chapter is about being present in the here and now. The fourth chapter is about thoughts and observations. The fifth chapter is about joy and gratitude. The chapters are full of activities and crafts as well as information, stories and cultural expressions. I love the diversity the book has. It shares a Chinese parable, Indian practices, Zen gardens and more. The activities range from breathing to art and even kneading bread dough. Some of the activities don't require anything to do and others need supplies. Some just need paper and a pens though. It even has ideas on blocking out sounds when you are feeling overwhelmed. The book deals with so many parts of lives that overwhelm and stress our kids out and give them things to do to ease the stress and calm themselves. Honestly, I wish I had this book in print. The digital copy I have is a review one that goes away and I know that these activities would be helpful for Hazel at different times in her life. 

There are even activities for when a child is feeling lonely like this Tree of Belonging. I can totally imagine hanging this in a child's room to help him or her remember he or she is loved. 

Some of the activities are helping them get their bodies ready for calm like this one, Twisting Tree. Many of the activities are yoga based or breathing based.

Others help them look at what is causing the problems or things in their lives or include ways to release the emotions or issues taking over their minds. I love the Mind Dump activity as well as this one, Emotional Case Study.

I thought I would try some of them with Hazel. Here are a few that we tried. The first one I tried was an easy one. It was in the Observing Thoughts chapter. The book provides a website to print out three mandalas. I colored two of them.

The other project I tried was in the Joy and Gratitude chapter. It is part of the Gratitude Garden project. The book gives instructions for one origami flower and then suggests you look for other tutorials on-line. Before folding the flower you are instructed to write something on the back of the paper that you are grateful for.

So if you have an anxious child or extra stress during this hard time, please check out this book and try some of the activities!