FAMILY FRIDAYS: Rituals of Creative Expression
By Megan Flød Johnson, Program Development Specialist
Based on the Scholastic EDU post, “Why Creativity Matters During a Crisis“
Create a daily ritual of quiet reflection to draw, or journal together as a family.
Your Entire Family | All Ages
You and your children are in the middle of two severe crises. Covid-19 closed our schools and businesses. The murder of George Floyd sparked a tidal wave for racial justice that has washed over our cities. Conversations about systemic racism have opened in our streets and over our dinner tables. Our young people are fighting for racial justice alongside us. Their worlds are evolving, and they have questions, feelings, and concerns- as do adults. They need opportunities to process and work through these changes. So, this Family Friday, we want your family to know: Art is here for you.
The process of making art can be a helpful haven for some of these feelings right now. Making 15-20 minutes of space each day for creativity can go a long way.
This is not an elaborate project with scripted questions and specific materials. Here’s what you do:
A family ritual of creative expression supports your children’s emotional health and your own as well. When you model self-care for your children you show them the value of creativity and taking quiet time to reflect on what you’re thinking and feeling.
While respecting the privacy of your young person’s journal entry or sketch, you can provide entry points for them to share and reflect on uncomfortable issues that might have come up during their creative time. Open-ended questions create a safe, non-judgemental space for discussion and help young process through difficult topics or feelings. Try asking questions like,
If your young person doesn’t feel like sharing anything, respect that choice, and ask again tomorrow. A journal or sketchbook is a trusted place to keep and add to their thoughts and feelings during these crises.
Connecting deeply with your family right now is essential. Making or writing together can be a powerful way to do so. Young people also need opportunities to process their feelings and thoughts with their peers while expressing themselves creatively.
That is why we exist. Every class is focused on a topic, but our Student Artists bring the experiences that they need to process into the room every time. SteppingStone’s Virtual Studios bring young people together in active, creative experiences- even online! Our Teaching Artists specialize in delivering a curriculum that invites young artists to observe and communicate with each other while exploring ideas using their voices and bodies. We use stories and characters to ask big questions and process what is happening in our world. We meet kids where they are at developmentally and give them tools to explore and push up against the status quo.