Mixed Emotion Sand Art

Mixed Emotion Sand Art




Colored Sand

Transparent Glass or Plastic Container (With Lid)


Small bowls to hold sand




The idea is to think about the many different emotional experiences related to grief,
choose corresponding colors for these specific emotions, and fill the containers with these emotions.

This will help those who may be bottling up their emotions begin to express them in a nonverbal way.

Have the group think about grief and ask them to name an emotion that comes to mind (e.g., sadness).

Next, ask them: If this emotion were a color, what would it be?”

Pour some of that color of sand into the container (have each person do the pouring, if possible).
Tell them it’s up to them to decide how much of each color/emotion they want to add to their container.

Next, ask them to name another emotion that comes to mind (e.g., love).

Then, repeat your earlier question: “If this emotion were a color, what would it be?” 

Pour some of this color into the container. Again, let each person determine how much.

Repeat until the container is filled.

Talk to the group  about how the emotions all exist together.

If you prefer, leave a little space in the container and let them shake it up
because grief is messy and sometimes everything feels all mixed together.
(Just note that, if you shake the container up, the end product obviously
won’t look as neat and tidy as the one pictured above).

Give each person in the group an opportunity to share about the emotions they added to their container.


Click here for the printable instructions for the Mixed Emotions Sand Art Activity