Thursday, December 17, 2009

December Art Therapy techniques

Happy Holidays everyone! This month we are celebrating "Trekking through the Arctic" and as it is winter time, these tasks revolve around snow!

Unique as a Snowflake
Population: Geriatric, children, adolescents
Medium: White, blue, or gray construction paper, scissors, markers.
Description: Begin by discussing the amazing fact that every snowflake that falls from the sky is unique. Explain that the group will be making their own snowflakes. Fold up your paper as small as possible but still able to cut, cut out triangle and hills out of all 4 sides of the paper. Open up paper and show off your unique snowflake. Once everyone has created their own snowflake discuss what makes each person special and unique in their own way. Have each individual write at least one unique fact about themselves onto their snowflake. Finally, ask everyone to share what they have written with the group and process.

Shaving Cream Snowman
Population: Geriatric, children
Medium: Mens shaving cream, Elmer's glue, glitter, small black and multicolored pom-poms, small container like styrofoam cups, popsicle sticks, and 8" x 10" construction paper.
Description: This task is just fun! Fill up a cup for each participant with shaving cream and pour glue on top. Have everyone lightly mix the shaving cream and glue together (be careful not to stir too roughly or you might loose the fluffyness of the shaving cream). Add glitter as desired. Next, use the popsicle stick to move the shaving cream mixture from the cup onto the paper and construct a raised 2-D snowman. Once the snowman has been shaped use pom-poms to create the snowmans eyes, nose, mouth, and buttons. Finally, add some shaving cream to the bottom to create a ground and dot around the page to make snow! Have fun with this task.

Candy Cane door-hang
Population: Low functioning children or geriatrics
Medium: Pre-cut candy cane cut out from 11" x 14" heavy white paper, red paint, paintbrushes, magnet tape.
Description: Pass out the pre-cut candy cane shapes to the group. Be an example by showing the group how to use the paint brush to paint red lines onto the candy cane. Help other individuals by doing hand- over- hand painting. Reminisce with the group about Christmas ornaments and traditions. Once the paint has dried, place 2 magnetic rectangles onto the back of the candy cane so participants can hang their decoration of the refridgerator or door.

November Art Therapy tasks

Hello All! It has been a little while since I last updated so I decided to wrote up all of Novembers tasks in one post. FYI the theme for November was "Explore America".

Veteran's Day American Flag
Population: Geriatric, Children, Adolescents, Adults
Materials: One piece of 18" x 24" construction paper, one blue square 5" x 5" or so, 6 strips of 24" white paper, 7 strips of 24" red paper, white glitter, markers, glue sticks.
Description: Each individual in the group gets at least one strip of paper. On the paper have the group write down what it means to them to be an American. Discuss the answers that come up. Collect the strips of paper and paste onto the flag. Complete by pasting the blue square in the upper left corner and adding glitter to represent the stars in the flag.

Explore America
Population: Geriatric, Children, Adolescent, Adults
Materials: Two pieces of paper for each individual; one white paper with the outline of an airplane and one piece with the outline of luggage.
Description: Begin the group with a discussion of places in America where the group has visited or wish to visit. What is intriguing about the places? Have the group draw on the paper with an airplane the one place in America where they would most like to visit, either decorate inside of the plane or around it. Next have a discussion of what you would need to bring with you. What is the most important item and why? What might you be able to live without?

Population: Alzheimer's or dementia geriatrics, small children
Materials: Pre-cut cornucopia, 8" x 10" construction paper, 3" circles cut from yellow, blue, purple, and red paper, glue sticks.
Description: Begin by showing a sample finished image of the cornucopia and ask if anyone recognizes the image or what a cornucopia (horn of plenty) means. Give each person a sheet of paper and the pre-cut cornucopia shape to glue down. Next, pass out one circle of each color. As individuals are gluing, ask what fruit or vegetable might be yellow, red, blue, or purple (one color at a time in order to limit confusion). Finally, discuss family Thanksgiving traditional food and other traditions celebrated amongst the group.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10/12 Art Therapy Technique

For the Birds
Population: Geriatric
Art Technique: For the project you will need pine cones, twine, scissors, peanut butter, spoons, bird seed, 8"x 10" white paper, markers and news paper. Cover the table with news paper before you begin as this will be a messy project. Each person should get a pine cone, a spoon, and a spoonful of peanut butter (on the news paper in front of the participant is fine). Twine should be tied to the top of the pine cone leaving a large enough loop on top so the finished product can be hung in a tree outdoors. Ask each member to begin by covering his or her pine cone in peanut butter. Once finished, the pine cones should be rolled in bird seed.
Set the bird feeders aside and begin a discussion with the group members about their favorite birds and why they like those birds. Then ask each participant to create an image of what kind of bird they would be. Would they have a long tail and wings to help fly long distances? Would they be very colorful or not? Would they go south for the winter or would the stick it out? Process with the group the images and the members description of his or her bird.

What art techniques did you do this week?

10/5 Art Therapy Task

Kind Words for Strangers
Population: Geriatric
Task: The theme for the month of October is "Up, Up and Away" and the party we are having at the end of the month is a balloon launch! Each balloon let go will be tagged with the facilities name and phone number and a message asking for who ever finds the tag to please call and say where the balloon was found.
So, the task was centered around the soon to be released balloons. For the project you will need strips of paper approx. 2" x 6", a hole punch, markers, scissors, and ribbon. Each person in the group got at least two tags. Before giving the directions, a discussion was had about the nice things people have said to others or have been said to them and the feelings associated with such kind words. Once we had some ideas, the group was told to write onto the tag something nice for the stranger who may find the balloon. Encourage serious and silly responses, "You are having a nice hair day" is perfectly acceptable for this project!
Once all of the tags have been written on, punch a hole at the end of each tag, and have each participant thread some ribbon through the hole to later tie onto the balloons.

What art therapy projects did you do this week?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

9/28 art therapy technique

Group Fall Tree
Population: Geriatric
Technique: For this art therapy task you will need a large piece of white or gray construction paper (18" x 24"), large brown marker, yellow, red, and orange acrylic paint, large leaf stencils, and sponges (or scrunched plastic bags in a pinch).
Have each member of the group take turns filling in leaf stencils using the sponges and paint. Encourage mixing the fall colors to create unique leaves. Once each member has added his or her own leaf, the group facilitator should use a brown marker and create a tree in the center that encompasses all of the members leaves. Next, write down each persons name near their leaf. Discuss the placement of the leaves and the meaning behind who's leaf is next to who's, if anyone would want to move their leaf, if anyone wants to add or subtract leaves, and the idea of a family tree and what that means for this group.

What art therapy techniques did you do this week?

Monday, September 21, 2009

9/21/09 art therapy technique

Wish Upon a Star
Materials: Pre- cut star shapes apprx 3" wide, silver or white ribbon, hole punch, and markers
Population: geriatric
Technique: Begin by discussing the idea of "wishing upon a star", what does that mean? has anyone ever wished upon a star? maybe even sing some star themed songs. Also discuss what some of the group participants wishes might be.
Hand out two stars to every participant. Ask the group to write a wish on each star, feel free to hand out more stars as necessary. Finally, use the hole punch to create a hole on the right and left angle of the star. Connect all of the stars together using ribbon to tie them. Hang around the room and have each member share what they wished for.

What art therapy techniques did you do this week?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9/3/09 Art Therapy Technique

Starry Sky Pin Picture
Population: geriatrics
Materials: 8 1/2" x 11" black construction paper, several xeroxed 8 1/2" x 11" connect the dot images, push pins, and cardboard.
Technique: Begin by discussing what a constellation is, ask if anyone has spotted any in the sky, and maybe what constellations can they recall. Place the connect the dot image over the black paper and place both over the piece of cardboard. Instruct the group to each take a push pin and push a hole through each of the dots in the connect the dot image. Be sure to help those who are unable to press a hole through both pieces of paper. When completed hold the black paper up to the window to show off the new constellation!

What art therapy tasks have you done this week?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

8/25/09 Art Technique

Shaving Cream Painting
Population: Geriatric
Technique: Begin by gathering shaving cream (scented or original), food coloring, a paint tray liner or similar wide and flat plastic container, large popsicle sticks and thick paper. Spray shaving cream into your plastic container. Have members of the group drip food coloring onto the shaving cream. Next, have members of the group run a popsicle stick through the foam in order to mix some of the colors. Finally, place the paper into the foam and evenly press the paper down. Pull the paper out and scrape off the excess foam to reveal a marbalized brightly colored print. Encourage the group the use the prints as cards to mail to friends and family, cut up in order to create a brand new painting, or even create a group quilt. Discuss how it felt to have no control over what the painting looks like and how it felt to regain that control by turning the painting into another piece of art.

What art therapy techniques did you do this week?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thesis Art Task

Guardian Angel
Population: Geriatric
Technique: This task was used in my second to last thesis group. The materials used are clay (Sculpy offers a lot of color options and is relatively easy to use) and a small canvas bag that ties at the top. The topic tonight was about death and loss. We began by discussing losses in life, how one deals with the loss of someone close, how that death occurred, what emotions were felt then vs. now, and if they feel any signs of their loved one watching over them (assuming everyone in the group believes that their loved one has gone on to another place). We also discussed symbols and signs that our loved one is still here in some capacity.
The art task begins by asking everyone in the group to focus on one person in their life who has passed and what animal that person most resembled in behavior. Once everyone in the group has come up with an animal they are then asked to sculpt that animal out of clay. As everyone finishes the project, have each individual share with the group what their animal means and how it resembles their loved one. Finally, (a full ceremony is an option) place the animals into the small canvas bag and discuss what it means to be able to carry a piece of their guardian angel.

What are therapy techniques did you use this week?

Monday, August 17, 2009

8/17/09 Art Therapy Techniques

Gold Medals for Neighbors
Population: Geriatric
Task: The theme of the month is still "The Thrill of Victory", so what is more exciting than winning a gold medal? For this technique you will need ribbon, card board circles (about the size of a large gold medal), markers, paint, glitter, Elmer's glue and hot glue.
With the geriatric population I have discovered that it is best to ask a question to the group and encourage thinking of numerous responses to the question in order to get the brain moving first. In this case, ask the group what are some positive compliments people like to hear. Then, ask everyone in the group to look at their neighbor on the right and come up with a nice compliment for that person. Next, each person gets a card board "medal" to decorate using the idea of that compliment. Once the medal has been completed each person can present the medal to their neighbor and tell what the medal is for. Discuss with the group how it feels to get a nice compliment.

What art therapy techniques did you do this week?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

8/10/09 Art Therapy Techniques

Challenges and Obstacles
Population: Geriatric
Task: Read a poem using one of the "Chicken Soup" books. This week I used Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul. The theme of the month is along the lines of "Go for the Goal" so I thought we could discuss overcoming challenges; particularly those that come up in life. Once the poem has been read the group is asked to create an image of a challenge that they once took on. The group also has the option to write a poem or feeling words about the experience. After the image and/or poem has been created each individual is then asked to share their creation and discuss their particular challenge along with what the outcome was, how they got through it, and if they may have done anything differently.

What art therapy tasks did you do this week?