Zentangle®, Art Activities, & Mindful Resources for Kids

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Sketching And Mindfulness: Finding Calm In The Lines And Shapes

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Sketching & Mindfulness Pin


Mindfulness can help kids and teens improve their focus, manage difficult emotions, boost self-esteem, and improve decision-making. It is a skill that can be cultivated and developed over time with the help of parents and educators.

One way to do this is through sketching, which is a creative process that allows young people to practice mindfulness and tap into their imagination.

In this article, you will learn more about the relationship between sketching and mindfulness!

children drawing at a table

The Connection Between Sketching and Mindfulness

Mindfulness means being fully present in what you are doing without being distracted by other things — such as the past or the future. Children and teens can practice mindfulness in their daily lives by slowing down, paying attention to what they’re doing, and enjoying it thoroughly. 

Sketching, a form of drawing that artists usually do to make a design idea before creating a painting, sculpture, or another art project, evokes mindfulness. It’s also something that children and teens can benefit from in terms of learning because it allows them to put their ideas on paper!

The reason sketching works is that it requires you to be immersed in the moment. A child or teen needs to examine the details and shapes while they’re sketching. Additionally, sketching can also make them lose track of time as they become completely absorbed in the process. It can be a form of meditation because it can help clear the mind and help them focus on a single task. 

Benefits of Sketching for Mindfulness

Sketching is an art activity that children and teens can incorporate into their daily routines because it can help them practice mindfulness. This will give them plenty of benefits such as…

Stress Reduction

Kids and teens deal with a lot of stress, such as the pressure to do well in school. Sketching may help with stress reduction because it promotes relaxation and acts as a healthy distraction.

For example, a 2018 study showed that students who did a mindfulness art activity such as a mandala or free drawing activity had lower test anxiety. Test anxiety is a common problem for children and teens because it puts the focus on negative possibilities, which worsens anxiety. 

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation refers to a person’s ability to identify, manage, and healthily respond to their emotions. This is one of the most important skills children and teens should learn because it can help them deal with difficult situations in life.

Fortunately, art activities such as sketching might help improve emotional regulation. A 2013 research suggests that children may benefit from improved mood when drawing is used to distract. This was also supported by a later 2021 study, which showed that children can use drawing to improve their mood, even if they were drawing imaginary scenes, real scenes, or given no instructions. 

Improved Focus and Concentration

Kids and teens are easily distracted by many things, and it can get in the way of their daily lives. Sketching is an activity that requires focus, so it could be helpful as a mindfulness practice. 

This is because when you’re sketching, you’re paying attention to the drawing or the object you’re sketching. As you put your focus on the lines and curves, it can help distract you from unhelpful thoughts.

Enhanced Creativity

Sketching can help kids and teens develop their drawing skills over time, especially if it’s done regularly. It’s a good way to practice and grow as an artist. 

Additionally, sketching is an avenue to come up with ideas and let their creativity out. They can use it to brainstorm, visualize mental images, communicate emotions, and solve problems. 

How to Incorporate Mindfulness in Sketching

Girl drawing

Mindfulness can be incorporated into anything kids do. The most important thing is to slow down and be in the present. 

Before they sketch, help them choose a place where they can focus and be free from physical and mental distractions. Let them take a break from schoolwork so they can devote their focus to sketching. You can also help them do some deep breathing exercises before they start. 

To incorporate mindfulness in sketching, tell them to use their senses. This includes noticing the texture of the paper or the feeling of the pencil as they draw. Ask them to pay attention to the sounds produced as they draw lines and curves.

As they sketch, you can also help them incorporate breathing exercises to help them be more mindful. This can be done by breathing in through your nose until the abdomen expands, then breathing out through the mouth. Remind them to do it slowly and feel every sensation. 

As you teach them to pay attention, let them know that their mind will wander and they might find unhelpful thoughts.

Once they notice their mind wandering, teach them to bring it back to the present moment. This can be done by returning their attention to their breathing. Tell them to notice when they’re moving too fast and try to slow down again. 

Remind them that mindfulness is a process that takes time. Discuss how having a growth mindset can help motivate them to try again when they face obstacles. Having this perspective will be helpful in all aspects of their life, from their academics to relationships! 

Mindful Sketching Techniques

Kids painting at table

Mindful sketching can be a fun activity for kids and teens to try. Here are some examples:

Drawing Circles

Kids and teens don’t have to be an art expert to enjoy mindful drawing. Drawing circles on paper is a simple exercise that can be done anytime to feel more at present. All they need is a blank paper, a pen, and a comfortable place free from distractions. 

Ask them to start by slowly drawing a circle. It is important to put full attention into the moment by focusing on the pen and consciously connecting one endpoint to another. Repeat the process as the paper is slowly filled up with circles of different sizes.

Because of how easy it is, kids and teens might start to get distracted. Remind them to bring themselves back to the present moment when their mind starts to wander.

Mindful Doodling

Doodling offers plenty of benefits, such as stress relief and improved memory. It’s easy to lose focus when you’re doodling because it’s often done with other activities. For instance, children might doodle in class as they’re listening to their teacher. 

But when mindfulness is incorporated into doodling, it can be a good way to relax and destress. All that’s needed is a blank paper, a pen (or some colorful markers), and a place away from distractions. Some people also enjoy putting on their favorite songs while doodling. 

There is no perfect way to doodle, but the important thing is to do it mindfully. It can be done by sketching lines, spirals, shapes, and dots. Just tell them to keep going until the art piece is finished.

Draw A Picture

Sketching can also be a good way to regulate emotions such as anger, especially in kids. It can help them describe what they are feeling so parents can support them. To do this, you will need paper and some drawing materials. 

Ask your child to draw their angry body parts and put color in the portions where the anger manifests. This way, they can learn when their body tells them that they are starting to get angry. This will help them practice healthy coping mechanisms before they get overwhelmed with the emotion. 

Final Thoughts

It’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed when you encounter difficult situations in life. Even kids and teens face daily pressures that can lead to a constant rush to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks. 

Being mindful can help us stay in the present and enjoy our experiences fully. Sketching, which requires us to devote our attention, can help us practice mindfulness. That’s why if you or your child is feeling stressed and anxious, you can set aside time for sketching in your daily routine!

Here are a few other  activities that your kids are going to love:

If you’re looking for more activities designed to encourage mindfulness and spark creativity, check out my printable resources below or visit my shop!

Don’t forget to download our free 15 page Mindfulness coloring book to help add a few mindful moments to your child’s day. Just click here or the image below!


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