Just as colour is part of everyone and everything, so is change! In this final issue of Summer 2018 Art CONNECTS (part #4), we explore what change is and how we understand it.
Art CONNECTS highlights how arts, creativity, and imagination increase self-discovery, and in doing so improve wellbeing. The more we understand about ourselves, the more we identify, respond, and manage our needs.
Art CONNECTS is an expressive art resource for children, young people and adults. Activities are starting points, platforms for individual creativity, journey and discovery. We realise that “Change” is a multi-dimensional theme, however the ideas in this issue are general suggestions to increase healthy self-expression and wellbeing. Adults should review them for suitability before working with children.
“Our self is our bowl, imagination our spoon, but our art has no recipe.”- CEAACC
"Change is Part of Me"
Change happens all too fast! Let’s start by taking time to reflect on the summer months so far...
Some warm-up ideas:
Quick ideas for a free 5 minutes!
1) Pass a beanbag/ ball to each other. With each catch, say one good or important thing about summer. This is a great activity to do with a group of children!
2) Think about how summer makes you feel? Trying drawing the feeling as a face or using different colours.
3) Make a feeling rhythm with a drum, shaker, or musical instrument.
4) Make up a movement or dance about summer- try adding in some colourful scarves!
For when you have a few more minutes:
5) Write a postcard or letter to yourself describing some of your summer experiences and memories. Why not put it in a safe place and read it again Summer 2019!
6) Create a summer Island: on a piece of paper, draw the outline of an island. Be creative, it can be any shape you like! Fill the inside of your island with pictures/ words about your summer. When you’ve finished, talk about your island(s) together.
If you would rather used mixed media for this activity, you can use string or wool to outline your island on a surface. Inside you can place objects/ photos about your summer. This option has lots of sensory potential depending on the needs and interests of the child you are working with.
7) If you have time, make a memory book or box. Look for photos and memorabilia from summer that can become part of your project. Be adventurous and use mixed media (e.g. beads, collage, tickets, nature). This is a great memory-making activity, and something that can be put in a special place and revisited in the future.
"Change is Part of Me"
Throughout the issues of Summer 2018 Art CONNECTS, activities have encouraged multi-media and surface working. Hopefully you have gained confidence working creatively and using different and unique materials. If you haven't already, think about using different materials, and even working 3-dimensional or including sound. Remember art has no recipe!
Here's some suggestions:
- chalks, pastels, pencils, pens
- clay, model magic, plasticine, play dough.
- natural objects (e.g. feathers, petals, sticks, stones) sand (or sand tray)
- junk modelling (e.g. lids, tubes, yoghurt pots)
- Paper, canvas, natural surfaces
- Electronic media
- Musical instruments, sounds
- Movement, dance.
Feel free to mix media and explore how first-artworks can lead on to extended explorations and creations!
"Change is Part of Me"
While it is important to remember and make memories, it is also important to reflect on change. As we start September, the new month brings many changes… especially for children!
Take a moment to think about what change means?
Sometimes, change can seem scary because we don’t know how things will turn out. Change can make us worry, and feel emotionally and physically anxious. Talking about change can improve our understanding and make it feel less scary. Taking time to remember what strengths we have to cope with change is also important.
With your child/ the child you are working with, try making a strength shield. Depending on the age of the child shields can be simple in design (using as little as 1-4 colours) or more complex (e.g. using several layers or images to represent different strengths).
We have used pens in the picture, but Strength Shields can be made using a range of media e.g. clay, beads, shells, digital media etc.
When your finished, talk about your shield(s)... how can your strengths help when it comes to change?
If going back to school is a worry-change, doing a squiggle drawing can be a great way to process the experience... and develop understanding and confidence about transition. Have a look at the video below for ideas!
Let your imagination flow and create an "I'm Part of Change" artwork:
1) Reflect on what you have already created, explored, and talked about in this Art CONNECTS issue.
2) How do you feel about change now?Have your feelings changed at all?How do you feel about some of the seasonal changes that occur at this time of year?
3) Can you express your thoughts and feelings in colours, images, music, patterns, or sound?
4) Your artwork can be concrete/abstract, is can be minimal, detailed, or multi-dimensional! Use whatever materials you like! Perhaps, change-it-up & try something different this week.
5) There is no right or wrong to the creative process... Think about some of the discoveries and thoughts you had in "Getting Started"- how do these connect with your art process?
6) What meanings to the colours have? How do they connect with experiences, feelings, and memories?
7) Have fun and explore the materials in your art!
8) Is there anything unplanned that becomes part of your art... perhaps a colour, shape, spill, sound or texture?
9) When you think you have finished, step back again and reflect on what you see and feel. You can add or change your art.... the process is yours!
10) Can you write a sentence, poem or story that goes with your artwork?
If possible, talk about the process and your artwork. It may be helpful to write or journal about the experience.
What have you learned about yourself through this art process and experience?
Have you learned anything about someone else?
Understanding Self = Understanding Wellbeing
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