The life changes and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have people all over the world feeling a mix of emotions.  Children are working through a lot of feelings as they navigate distance learning, being separated from their friends (and possibly family members), cancellation of their extracurricular activities, and being stuck at home. Parents have a lot to cope with too, especially managing their children’s learning in this unprecedented situation.

Writing and doodling can help kids (and adults) explore their feelings and creativity. Two books from Magination Press can help kids develop these forms of expression.  How Do You Doodle?: Drawing My Feelings and Emotions by Elise Gravel and Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing by Marge Pellegrino and Kay Sather provide drawing games to explore feelings, writing prompts, and book-making activities.  Here are some pages from How Do You Doodle? and two chapters from Neon Words for your kids to try!

How Do You Doodle? is a book for your child to doodle, scribble, and draw out their thoughts, emotions, and feelings.  It is made up of doodle games that let your child explore the way they feel, name their emotions, and think about how they feel in different situations. Some thoughts and feelings may be hard to share, but lots of kids feel better after they doodle about these things.

And just what is a doodle, you ask? A doodle is a special kind of drawing that happens all on its own—spontaneously. A doodle just flows from you, like when you are talking on the phone and not really paying attention and you start drawing spirals and circles and polka dots and bunnies. Some people think of doodles as the opposite of drawing—you’re not supposed to be drawing something specific. Doodles come completely from the heart. They are expressions of your emotions and what you are feeling.

Doodling can provide an outlet for the mix of emotions children are feeling due to the pandemic experience.

Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing, helps young writers  learn about creative writing by honoring, strengthening, and playing with their ideas and words. Writing activities can spark imagination and allow young writers to make their writing more powerful, but they can also help kids engage with words to be more present in life and to use language arts techniques for self-discovery and emotional well-being.

Creative writing is a powerful form of self expression that can help your child explore their feelings, experiences, and dreams, as well as build empathy for and understanding of others. Expressive writing about life helps people, among other things:

  • get healthy! Research shows that people who write about emotional upheavals require fewer doctor visits and are generally happier.
  • combat depression! Writing a gratitude journal helps with mood. Expressing yourself lets you ditch your stress for a while.
  • build their brain! People best express themselves in different ways–through words, music, movement. Some people prefer to be alone to be inspired. Others think best by talking to people. Trying a variety of writing activities can spur new ways of thinking, resulting in stronger, smarter writers!

Writing prompts and activities can help your child develop their writing skills and thinking, and also let them explore their feelings.

Print out the pages from Neon Words and How Do You Doodle? for some creative self-expression activities for you child.

This article is a modified excerpt from Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing by Marge Pellegrino & Kay Sather and from How Do You Doodle?: Drawing My Feelings and Emotions by Elise Gravel.

If you feel that your child is struggling to cope with their emotions, please seek professional support. Use the APA Locator to find a psychologist near you.

Related Books from Magination Press

  • How Do You Doodle?: Drawing My Feelings and Emotions

    Elise Gravel

    Meet Otti, Ugga, and Flibb — They like to doodle. They doodle all the time!

    They doodle when they are mad, they doodle when they are glad, and they doodle when they are sad. They doodle just about anything they want!

    What about you? Do you doodle, too?

    How Do You Doodle? has over 40 doodle games for you to doodle, scribble, and draw out your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. You can draw or write whatever you want in this book — cute drawings, silly drawings, even ugly drawings.

    Be creative and express yourself! Your doodles will help you to understand and recognize your emotions and feelings.

    Click hereto download pages from How Do You Doodle.

  • Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing

    Marge Pellegrino and  Kay Sather


    Neon Words is a book that will illuminate the writer in you.

    By using the tools and activities here, you’ll connect the word-organizing part of your brain with your free-ranging imagination — and you’ll love what you’ve captured on the page! It’s an exciting, confidence-boosting, and deeply satisfying experience.

    Whether you want to be a writer, or just want to explore what it’s like to create with language, you’ll discover that playing with words can help you be more present in your life and, best of all, it’s lots of fun. Who knew writing could be so enlightening?

    Click here to download Chapters 1 and 6 of Neon Words.