Hands up who’s bored!

Lockdown, quarantine, isolation, call it what you will. A lot of people are at the end of their tethers thinking of things to occupy this abundance of time they suddenly find that they have.

Here’s a little activity for adults and children alike. I stole it from a very talented artist called Jodie Silverman. You can have a look at her amazing work by clicking on her name.

Okey dokey, first off, draw around each of your hands on separate sheets of A4 paper.

Next, on one of the hands, (doesn’t matter which you choose), write all of the things you want to keep in your life. Basically, all of the good things that make you happy.


On the other hand, write down all of the negative things you want to let go of. Things that get you down. Things that are holding you back.


Once you’ve filled your hands with positives and negatives, it’s time to start decorating them!

There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Use watercolours, felt tips, acrylics, pastels, collage, whatever you feel comfortable with. And whatever you have lying around the house.

You could do an intricate pattern, something abstract or something more realistic like plants and flowers. Let your emotions about the words on each hand guide what comes out onto the paper.


And, what’s the point of all of this?

Well, doing any kind of art is relaxing and meditative. It focuses the mind and helps you to stay in the moment.

It’s reflective; by contemplating what makes you happy and what doesn’t, you are taking a conscious, positive step toward leading a more fulfilled life.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be all heavy, philosophical stuff. If you wanted to do it with the kids you could ask them to write down what they like/dislike about homeschooling or lockdown in general.

Who knows, you might learn something about yourselves along the way.


Filed under Art, Children, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Design, Education, Games, health, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Medicine, mental health, Philosophy, Uncategorized, Writing

8 responses to “Hands up who’s bored!

  1. I love this idea and I plan to try it.

  2. Pingback: Hands Up Let’s See What They Say | Claudia McGill and Her Art World

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  5. I posted the hands page I made in my sketchbook back in 2020 inspired by your post here once again as part of showing the whole sketchbook. I realized I didn’t mention how I got the inspiration for the page in this later post and have amended my post to cover that. It is interesting to me, looking back 2 years at this page, to see how far we have come from that day and yet for me, what matters to me, seems to have changed not at all. Thank you once again for your inspiration.

    • Two years ago! My goodness, how time flies. I’m glad it inspired you, Claudia. But I stole it from someone else. Or rather, I learnt it from someone else. I feel like I’ve learnt so many art activities from so many different people over the past two years in the hope they might help people struggling with their mental health. I’ve learnt a lot from you too. I used your paint swatch idea in an art therapy group once. And also the ‘cracked sidewalk’ where you divide the image up into smaller images. (If that makes sense.) Here’s to another 20 years of making art and learning from one another!

      • Yes. I am glad to hear things I have mentioned have been useful to others, that means a lot to me. I feel doing art allows me to express feelings or let off pressure in ways that I don’t even realize, as I don’t try to connect the art subjects with those feelings etc. It’s just doing it that works. I agree. I hope for 20 more years of walking this path together, all of us.

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