MESSY ART In The Trauma-Informed ECE Classroom

I hope you are FEELING CREATIVE this season!  Or at least starting to, as time off work approaches.

Here’s a video clip to cheer you up and put a smile on your face. You have to love the earnestness of children immersed in art.

Thanks to Mesa Community College CDC lab school for inviting me to train teachers on TIC Messy Art in-person ❤ ❤ ❤ When you encourage children to let off steam with full body scribbling, you discover a fun way to reduce stress and express big feelings. There’s a lot to learn in order to makes activities like this run smoothly! Check out my new workshop if you’d like your teachers to learn how.

This new workshop, Art in the Trauma-Informed ECE Classroom, mirrors my new book on the same topic.  I spent this last year writing a practical TIC Workbook, titled Trauma-Informed Art in the Early Childhood Classroom.  Thanks to those of you who shared your lived experiences with art and trauma in your own classrooms!  I included many of your stories, along with writing 15 Chapters, 21 Art Lessons and 60 graphic illustrations (shout out to visual learners!) This ground breaking book, which bridges the gap between education and mental heath, is at the publishers now for 2023 release.  

Meanwhile, the live workshop is ready NOW and can be booked for your teachers anytime. Download a PDF of the Art in TIC workshop flyer here or forward a copy to your Education Team.  

Here are two of my favorite graphics from the book.
Feel free to download PDF’s and share them.  

When it comes to trauma-informed art, it’s important to engage the body by providing both standing and sitting activities. Most classroom art is done sitting, while standing art is reserved for painting at the easel.  What classroom doesn’t have at least one easel?  Easel painting is GREAT for self expression and energy release, and can be supplemented with other forms of standing art that engage the body.  

Active sensory release allows us to mobilize energy and access BIG emotions. This sample TIC ART LESSON shows teachers how to create a Bilateral Scribble Wall which can be left up as a  free release Art Station. These and other adaptations of full body engagement help transform your art program into one that meets the needs of children undergoing stress.

On another topic, how you talk with children about art is an art-form in itself. Using the right words to encourage creativity and independence is tricky and most of us take a long time to get good at this.  I put my own ideas on this into a graphic. Let me know what you think, or if you think it needs tweaking. 

Last but not least, here’s my personal favorite on the power of art. If this topic interests you, you will LOVE this fancy full-color ebook. 
Download it here:

Have a wonderful Winter Break, and see you in 2023!

Anna Reyner,

Consultant & Trainer:
CreativePlayLA, Los Angeles California

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