Recently we created our bandaid family get well cards. The kids absolutely loved creating them! They had a blast and were super creative in making their families…adding pets, balloons, siblings and more. When we were done, we brought the cards to the hospital to the children’s cancer ward for the kids there. And I began thinking about trauma and the heartache of both the children there living through cancer, and their siblings who are watching their loved ones suffer.
And this craft came to mind as a way to help your littles express the hurt, both physical and emotional, that they are experiencing in a difficult season.
Bandaids were always the symbol of “making things better” for my littles. When my daughter was young, every time she got the most minimal injury she would want a bandaid, and as soon as she put the bandaid on her ouchie would magically disappear. So why not create art reflecting this same concept? I talked with the kids about bandaids being a symbol of healing, something we put on our ouchie to protect it and help it feel better. And I asked them to create a picture with bandaids that shows where they would like bandaids in their life, or what healing might look like for them if they were to feel all better.
An example of this is this picture of the boy walking with the balloon on a sunny day, with butterflies. Healing was experiencing a peaceful day, without worries. Another example was a bandaid family with a pet bandaid. The pet bandaid symbolised having to leave his pet behind when her family moved. Another image was two siblings playing with a ball. The older sibling wished his little brother would come home from the hospital so that they could play ball together.
You can also ask the child to draw a picture of themselves and place bandaid where it hurts, either in their emotions or their physical body. Help them express their hurt where words are often are hard to find.
Art is often an easier way for children to express big and scary feelings. Try this exercise to help your little share their big emotions. It can even be a weekly exercise. Drawing a picture of how the week went using bandaids.
Using Bandaid Art with older children and teenagers:
This same exercise can be used with older children and teenagers as well. In fact, it is even a helpful exercise with adults who are having trouble articulating the pain and hurt that they are feeling.
This bandaid art was created by a teenager who is going through a season of depression and anxiety. The blue coloring represents the sadness that they felt, and the hole in the head represents the anxiety they were experiencing. The person holding them, and placing a bandaid around them is a representation of what Jesus is doing for them in their difficult season.
The result of the artwork here is not that it is supposed to be pretty, or follow a certain pattern or steps- it is simply an opportunity to express through art, the hurt that one might be feeling.
Before you begin:
1- Gather your supplies
2- Explain to your child the art project. To create a piece of art using bandaids. Talk about bandaids: Bandaids represent healing- making an owie all better. Today I want you to create an image that represents either the hurt you are feeling, or what “healing/healthy” looks like to you using pens and bandaids.
3- When they have finished creating their artwork ask them to explain in to you: “Tell me about your picture” Ask open ended questions and don’t point out things you think you recognize. Let them define and explain what they have made.
4- Pray together. Pray that God will heal the things that hurt, or help them find that healing that they desire.