Scratch Art Affirmations Group Counseling Activity

I love for students to have meaningful take-away crafts or activities from group and individual sessions that they can reflect on at home to remind themselves of the skills they’ve learned in group. Using their own hands to create something meaningful and beautiful is affirming in itself for students, and when that take-away is filled with more affirming words, it’s even better! If you’re looking for a fun way to integrate arts into your small group counseling program, give this scratch art activity a try!

What you’ll need:

  • Oil pastels
  • Black tempera paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Cardstock
  • Bobby pins or toothpicks


scratch art affirmations-4

How to do it:

  1. Color an entire piece of card stock with different oil pastels.
  2. Paint over the oil pastel colors with black tempera paint. You don’t need completely full coverage, but you’ll want enough to mostly cover the colors.
  3. Let the paint dry completely. When you think it’s dry, wait a little longer. If it’s at all still wet, the paper will peel when you try to scratch the paint off.
  4. Get a bobby pin or toothpick and begin to scratch positive, affirming words into the paint. The paint should easily come off and the colors will be revealed below.

When to use this activity:

  • With individuals who are working on building positive self talk
  • During small group counseling with self esteem groups
  • As a closing activity with small groups to reflect on their strengths
  • (if you’re brave) In classroom guidance lessons!


Students can keep their creations and place them in a highly visible place at home like their bathroom mirrors or in a notebook they keep at school. When creating affirmations on small cards, these also make a great “wall quilt” for a bulletin board or hallway display to spread affirmations throughout the school community!



scratch art positive affirmation activity for individual or small group counseling or art therapy. counselor keri






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