8 ways art and play develops self regulation for kids

Art and play are not just fun activities for kids but a great way to develop self regulation for kids. Self-regulation is the ability to understand and manage your behaviours, feelings and reactions to emotions and things around you. Kids need to develop this ability to help them become more independent and get along well with others. While self regulation in kids starts from infancy, kids develop it most in the toddler stage and continue into adulthood.  They are also great for teaching kids about emotions and to help them learn self-regulation.

Here is how art can teach kids about emotions and help them self regulate.

1. Doing activities with others teaches patience.

Art and play activities teach kids to share and be sociable. It also teaches them to wait for their turn for the toys and art materials they want.

2. Kids’ activities help kids understand and manage emotions

Kids might get overwhelmed by strong emotions and throw tantrums. Having them participate in activities with family or other kids will help them understand how to become more considerate and know their limits.

3. Art and play activities can help children connect, explore and understand their emotions.

By disconnecting from technology and participating in art and play activities, kids become of their and other’s feelings. Art lends itself to exploring emotions and mistake making. For example, “What colour is happy or frustration?” is a great way to answer with paint. It is also a way to open up a conversation about feelings.

4. Art and play promotes movement and mindfulness

These are the two things that are always present in active play, sensory exploration and creative activities that help develop self-regulation in kids. The more they practice movement and mindfulness, the more their focus and awareness improve.

5. Pretend play helps kids practice friendliness and kindness

Play that uses roleplay (e.g. taking interactions from real life) helps kids learn different interactions and responses. It also helps them explore different behaviour choices in given situations that will show them friendliness and kindness to ourselves and others is always the right choice.

6. Art develops self-awareness and an understanding of emotions

Through art activities, kids can reflect how they handled the challenges of learning new skills which will encourage children to become more observant of their feelings and others and develop self-confidence.

7. Art activities lead to expressing emotions and processing

Art is always a great way to express ourselves and feelings. When children are given an opportunity to let their creativity flow, and put their feelings into artwork, whether through visual arts, music, or performing, it helps them regulate their feelings and turn strong emotions into something beautiful or productive.

8. Types of art and play activities that help develop self regulation for kids

The best types of kids’ activities that support self-regulation for kids are those that encourage planning and problem-solving, stimulate memory and attention, and support fine motor control.

Here at Strength Heroes, our mission is to deliver workshops, and school holiday activities in Perth that help develop valuable skills among children, especially self-regulation for kids and resilience. Our programs are not only for children but also for educators, helping them build better connections with kids. 


So we can notify you about our upcoming workshops and tips on the art of developing resilient children.