Spark Joy with This Art Project

As the year comes to an end and the holidays approach, it’s common for all of us to feel a range of emotions. Some students may be excited about the break while others may feel anxious about the extra time with family. Most adults can relate!

We can acknowledge the stress of this time of year while still supporting a spirit of generosity and kindness in our classrooms and school. This lesson focuses on recognizing and enhancing joy in oneself.

Image: Carrie Edmond

Joy Magnets Art Activity
Age range: All ages
Materials: Mini canvas boards, magnets with adhesive, art supplies
Time: 30 minutes
Prep: Affix magnets to mini canvas boards

Discuss the meaning of the word “joy” with your students. You can explore similar words: enjoy, rejoice, joyful. How does it feel when we experience joy? What are some things that bring us joy? Is there any difference between the kind of joy we experience from material objects and the joy we feel in relation to other people?

Explain that the holidays can be filled with both joyful and difficult experiences. Being aware of what brings us joy can help to balance the hard stuff. Acknowledging and remembering joy can enhance our experience of this emotion. Invite the students to choose something that makes them joyful and happy, and then to represent it by creating an image on a magnet (with markers, paint, or whatever art supplies you choose).

Have the students work in silence. After everyone is finished, go around the room and share what they created and why.


Carrie Edmond is a middle school counselor, a long time mindfulness practitioner, and a grad of the Mindful Schools Year-Long Certification Program. She is the founder of ONE Mindful Maven and SA Mindful Education, based in San Antonio, TX.