How art therapy is different depending on the age of children.
Age of Children and Art Therapy
The children as young as 2 year old could benefit from Art Therapy. Children are able to express their feelings and thoughts in their art work with less hesitation than adults. Their artwork also reflects their developmental stages. In younger children, creation is focused on fun; as they get older, they are more conscious of their skills.
- Very Young Children: When children begin scribbling, they are amazed by how their movements leave a mark on the paper. In this age group, I use art media to stimulate their senses and want them to have fun as they develop skills. It is best for them to be accompanied by their parents/guardians. Art Therapy groups for children are available.
- Preschool/Kindergarten Age: By this time, children developing in a typical manner are able to make symbols and figures in their art. In Art Therapy, they can make stories based on their artwork to help them identify difficulties in their lives and alternative ways to deal with them.
- Elementary School: As they get older, children gain more abilities and skills but often they are not taught how to deal with their emotions. For example, they often blame others or tease others when they feel angry, disappointed and/or embarrassed. Art Therapy provides a unique opportunity to see issues visually and help children and their family members to face their problems together.
- Middle School: In addition to the issues listed for elementary school, children in the middle school age group experience physiological changes and may be moody and more oppositional. If the child likes art, Art Therapy can help increase their self esteem and self awareness.
- Adolescence: This is a time when young people begin to focus more on how they relate to the world around them and choose their future goals. The emphasis of Art Therapy for this age group is how to express their more advanced thoughts and feelings with more complicated techniques and appropriate art media.