Growth Mindset Art Activity
Sometimes when children (or adults!) are experiencing difficulties, it can be hard for them to remember that things won’t stay this way forever. Here is an easy art activity for developing a growth mindset, reminding children that the challenges we face can help us to grow.
Growth Mindset Art Activity
When bad things happen, it is easy to get caught up in despair. Here is an easy activity to remind children that better times are coming. But even more importantly, it teaches them that any difficult situation can be turned into something good. The challenges we face can be opportunities for growth!
For example, if you do poorly on an exam at school, you can use that as an opportunity to improve your study skills. If your best friend moves away, you can get creative at staying in touch – and enjoy developing new friendships as well. If you see an injustice, you can call attention to it and advocate for change.
In every situation, we can take a step back and evaluate how we can use it as an opportunity for growth. This growth mindset can help children learn from failures and challenges, developing resilience.
But how to teach this concept to children? Here is an easy art activity they can do!
- Draw a line across the middle of the paper.
- Below the line, shade the entire area in black. This area represents the dark feelings we sometimes have when we experience something difficult.
- Draw flowers growing up from the dark area. It turns out the shaded area was actually rich, dark soil, helping us to grow!
This is a great visual for kids about what growth mindset is, and that something good can come out of difficulties. (I also love that it helps them re-examine how we often use “dark” to be something negative, when it can also be something very positive!)
Basis for this Activity
This activity was developed as an activity to accompany Bahá’í children’s classes. Specifically, the children were learning about the life of Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, and His imprisonment in a terrible underground dungeon, called the Síyáh Chál (“the Black Pit”). Despite the terrible, inhuman conditions of this infamous prison, it was here that Bahá’u’lláh received the the first intimations of His divine mission.
I wanted a way for the children to visualize (in an age appropriate way), what it might have been like in that cold, vermin infested dungeon, which was kept perpetually in darkness. And how from that darkness grew something beautiful, that would form the basis of the Bahá’í religion.
But this activity is applicable in any situation where someone faces a difficulty, showing us how challenges can be opportunities for growth and progress.