At Art as Therapy we believe that all people have strengths and possess inner power that we can use to accomplish goals, experience success, and engage with others in healthy and creative ways. Sometimes in the midst of struggles or just the busyness of everyday life we can forget about our inner power, or lose sight of it in others. Art and play require creative problem solving and provide opportunities for us to exercise our unique strengths and tap into our inner power. Today we’re sharing five creative ways that you can have fun with your family and at the same time discover the everyday superpowers that exist within each person.
- Everyday Superheroes: Together with your family, brainstorm one thing that each person is really good at. What does this ability say about each person? Does it highlight one of their strengths? For example, if someone is really good at playing basketball, this might mean that they are a great team player and sharing may be one of their strengths. Imagine that your strength is your everyday superpower. Create an everyday superhero alter ego and design a costume. Use old sheets or fabric to make a cape and/or a superhero mask, and decorate with acrylic paint, feathers, stickers, pom poms, or any other craft materials. Play together as your superhero alter egos. Think of ways that each superhero can use his or her power in everyday situations.
- Everyday Superhero Helper: When it’s time for kids to help around the house or to complete a chore, invite their everyday superhero to complete the task instead. Encourage your child to wear his or her costume, and to channel the superhero’s everyday power to help get the job done.
- “Beautiful Oops” Art: The next time someone has a spill or an accident at home, see if you can find a way to use the spill or the broken pieces as inspiration for an art piece. For example, the drawing in this blog post was inspired by and made on top of a big coffee spill. Read Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg for inspiration. Talk about the idea of reframing mistakes as opportunities for growth or seeing things differently.
- Photo Scavenger Hunt: Work together to make a list of items you might find during a family outing. Give each family member a copy of the list, and invite them to take their own photo for every item on the list. Print or upload the photos. Compare the photos and notice how each person sees and interprets things differently. Celebrate your uniqueness and creativity. Think of other ways that having different perspectives can add to your family’s strength. Maybe even create a collage or an art piece with the photos from the scavenger hunt!
- “Now you’re the leader!”: Choose an everyday activity like grocery shopping or making dinner. Take turns assigning your kids as the leader of this activity. The leader gets to delegate jobs, direct the activity, and decide how it will be completed. For example, if it’s grocery shopping the leader can dictate the order for going down the aisles, or might declare that everyone must wear a hat, or can decide that no one may speak but must use gestures to communicate during the shopping trip. This activity gives the child who is the leader a sense of responsibility and involvement in family tasks. It also turns a routine activity into a playful opportunity for family connection, and provides opportunities for you to notice your child’s strengths, foster their self confidence, and encourage them to do things their own way.
Get out there and have fun as you discover all of the wonderful things your family of everyday superheroes can do! You’ve got the power!
Written by Rubi Garyfalakis
Art Therapist at Art as Therapy