- How to make your very own friendship bracelet
- Why is being creative important?
- What are some mood-boosting creative activities?
For kids and teenagers, it seems there is always something important to be doing or thinking about: exams, revision, GCSEs, A-Levels, homework – and that’s just some of it! It’s also crucial for children to discover who they are and what they like; so, what better way to do that than to get creative? We’ve got a creativity-boosting DIY video for you both to follow, and trust us, you’ll love the end result. 🥰
How to make your very own friendship bracelet
Said to have originated from the indigenous people of Central and South America, friendship bracelets are still adorning wrists as decorative symbols of friendship. We think they’re one of the most thoughtful ways to show friends how much you care, which is why we’ve created a step-by-step video showing you and your teen how to make your own. Plus, it’s something relaxing you can do together. 🙌
For your friendship bracelet, you’ll need:
- Three colourful embroidery flosses 🧶
- A plaster or some Sellotape 🩹
- Scissors ✂️
OK, let’s go!
- Roll out roughly one metre of each of the embroidery flosses.
- Cut the end of each so you have three long strands. This looks like a lot but you’ll be looping these threads around each other so don’t worry!
- At one end, tie all three strands into a knot.
- Tape the knotted end onto a table or work surface with the plaster or Sellotape.
- Separate all three strands.
- Take one of the side strands (for example, the left strand) and loop it round the middle strand – this is when your beady eyes will need to look carefully at the video. 👀
- Do the same with the other strand. If you started with the left strand, now do the right.
- Repeat with the left. Repeat with the right. Continue until you’re left with 2-3 inches at the end.
- Make a knot, cut off any excess floss and voila – help your teen fasten the bracelet to their wrist because, you know, we should all be our own best friends. 💖
Why is being creative important?
Besides being fun and enjoyable, creativity is also a vital life tool. Dr Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor of Psychobiology and Epidemiology at UCL, led a study in partnership with the BBC called the BBC Arts Great British Creativity Test where 50,000 people took part.
The findings, revealed in 2019, showed that there are three main ways we use creativity to cope with our emotions:
- A distraction tool – we use creativity to avoid stress. 😰
- A contemplation tool – we use creativity to give our minds room to reassess problems and make plans. 🤔
- A self-development tool – creativity builds confidence and self-esteem, and these help us face life’s challenges. 💪
Here are a few other interesting findings from the same research:
- We don’t need to be very skilled at the creative activity that we’re doing, the most important thing is that we’re taking part.
- While there are benefits from doing creative activities regularly, it was revealed that emotional benefits appeared after just a single session of creativity.
- We should aim to always learn new things and try different creative pursuits; this is because the research revealed that doing an activity for more than ten years leads to less-effective regulation of negative emotions.
- Creative activities that involve face-to-face interaction show stronger emotional benefits than virtual experiences.
What are some mood-boosting creative activities?
Story promptsIf your teen likes writing but struggles to find things to write about, suggest they look up some story prompts on the internet. These prompts are great for sparking new ideas and before you know it, teens will be tapping or scrawling away like they can’t get the words out fast enough. ✍🏽
Cross stitchNothing quiets the mind quite like a spot of cross stitch. There’s no room for stress when there’s a needle in thread involved so take a trip to your nearest haberdashery with your teen and pick out some nifty cross-stitch kits. There are also useful how-to videos on the net if some need beginner’s guidance.
PaintingWhether your teen is a budding artist or simply enjoys putting paintbrush to canvas, creating art is an excellent way to boost mood and calm negative emotions. And don’t worry if they’re not feeling very inspired – that’s what paint-by-numbers kits are for! 🎨
SingingWhether it’s in the shower, at the bottom of the garden or as part of a choir, singing can be therapeutic because it triggers endorphins and endorphins can lift your mood. Also, because singing requires you to control and regulate your breathing, this has a knock-on effect by increasing your oxygen and releasing stress. 🎤
DancingStudies have shown that dancing increases levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin and reduces stress. And let’s admit it, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as dancing around your bedroom – or your living room if no one’s home – to your favourite tunes. As the Mark Twain saying goes: "Dance like nobody’s watching." 🕺🏽💃🏽
If your child enjoyed making their friendship bracelet, they might like to learn how to make a stress ball too! They’re ideal for trying to relax when it’s exam time.