BNG Kids

The Gratitude Wheel

A Mindful Art Activity

Carolyn Toogood is a visual arts teacher at Somersfield Academy, where she also runs the Mindful Art Club, an after school programme which encourages primary school students to use art making as way of connecting with their emotions and immersing themselves fully in the present moment.

As we navigate these unprecedented times, Carolyn is sharing a series of mindful art activities with the BNG to help children navigate an uncertain future.

“One of my favourite mindful art practices for children is a gratitude wheel” says Carolyn. “To start, simply draw or trace a circle in the center of a paper and write, “I am grateful for…

Pause here and take a few moments to speak with your child about what they’re grateful for before writing anything down. When they’re ready, they can begin to write (or draw) their choices, with purpose, extending out from the inner circle.

As an art teacher, I often sneak in lessons on the colour wheel, pattern and line at this point. Children will enjoy experimenting with different colours, lines and patterns as if they are rays of sun emanating out from a central circle. I encourage using lots of colour, even painting a watercolour background first, if you have time and the correct paper.

It’s best to work on a wheel over an extended period of time so that a daily gratitude practice can be cultivated. Practicing gratitude might be a new idea for many children but it will help fortify their emotional resilience and is a tested antidote to anxiety. Gratitude is a wonderful way for children to counterbalance the stress of uncertain times by focusing on the positive aspects of their lives.”

Artwork by Somersfield Academy student Hazel Dragan (Primary 6)

Follow Carolyn and the Mindful Art Club at @somersfieldartists