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Cut-Out Painting
Type: Crafts   Skills: Health & SafetyLanguage & LiteracyPlay & Creativity
Children are often able to express their emotions through art in ways they canít through language. Cut-out painting is one way to help them cope with the trauma theyíve experienced. Their artwork can become the basis for adult-child conversations. Cut-Out Painting
What We Learn
Children can learn a lot from an activity like cut-out painting. First, the way children choose to use the materials allows them to express their frustration and confusion with the situation. By introducing new words like frustrated, disappointed and worried children are learning how to put their emotions into words. And finally, expression through art provides children with a way to cope with difficult situations.
Supply List
Construction paper
Markers or crayons
Finger paint
First, choose a large piece of paper, such as butcher paper or white construction paper, which is at least 11 inches by 17 inches.

Based on the traumatic event, choose a shape to cut out in the center of the paper. For example, the hole can be cut into the shape of a house if the child is upset about moving and leaving behind a home. If a child misses a deceased cat or dog, perhaps a circle or oval hole can represent the lost pet.

Discuss with your child about what is upsetting them about the event or incident. Get them to open up about how they are feeling. Immediately after the discussion, provide an opportunity for children to paint or draw on paper with the cut-out space.

The cut-out hole in the paper represents the traumatic event which the child canít change or undo. But the area around the empty space represents a place where the child can change. Itís that area where the child is free to express him or herself. Allow plenty of time for the child to paint or draw in that area and express how they are feeling about that event.

When the child has finished drawing, ask him or her to explain what their drawings represent. Use this activity as a bonding time to let the child know they can freely express their feelings, even their fears, with you.
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