Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January Art Therapy Tasks

Happy new year everyone! This month's theme is all about Vegas! and of course the new year!
Enjoy these art tasks and please feel free to share your own art therapy techniques you used this month or any other ideas.

New Years Hopes and Wishes

Population: Children, Adults, Geriatrics
Media: 18" x 24" construction paper with the year printed largely in the center with bubble numbers, markers, glitter, sequins, craft pom-poms, craft decorations etc.
Directions: Begin by discussing with the group the idea of resolutions. Has anyone in the group made resolutions in the past and stuck with it or dropped it mid year? Have resolutions changed over the years? Discuss positive resolutions versus negative ones (to start a new habit versus dropping a bad one). Might there be a wish or a hope for the self in the new year? the group? the world? As group members begin to shout out wishes/hopes/resolutions write them into the year numerals on the construction paper. Once everyone has added something decorate the sign as a group. Pass the construction paper around or everyone work together at the same time. Use the team decorated sign as motivation throughout the new year.

Changing Something Old into Something New
Population: Children, Adults, Geriatric
Media: Spin Art toy, white paper cut to fit appropriately to the toy, acrylic paints, scissors, glue stick, 8 1/2" x 11" white or colored paper.
Directions: Begin by having the group take turns using the Spin Art tool to make paintings. Have fun and enjoy the creative process! Once every individual has a painting ask the group to either tear or cute the painting into smaller pieces. Take the smaller pieces and rearrange them into brand new paintings. Follow up with the group by discussing what it felt like to cut up a painting. Is the new one better or worse than the original? How does this relate to the new year and potential resolutions or other changes made throughout life?

Silver Lining
Population: Geriatric, Adults
Media: 4" x 4" white paper, markers (the bright colors work best), black acrylic or poster paint, small sponge brushes or large paint brushes, and popsicle sticks.
Directions: Begin by discussing the idea of a "silver lining", what does it mean? can anyone think of a silver lining experience in their life? Now have each member chose 3 colors that represent an experience in their life where something did not go as planned or was a negative event. Have the group fill up their 4" x 4" white paper with color only, no imagery, to express that event.
As the group finishes coloring, have everyone paint over the colors with black acrylic paint. While the paint is being applied and/or drying, ask the group to think about a silver lining to their negative experience. Using the popsicle sticks, scrape away the black paint to reveal the colors underneath in order to create a new image that represents the "silver lining".
Once everyone has finished, have each member share their initial negative experience, and the silver lining they were able to find in that event. *It is perfectly fine if some individuals do not want to share their negative event, or if they are unable to follow the instructions and instead choose to just create!

Incomplete Deck of Cards
Population: Geriatric, Adults, Children
Media: A deck of cards (incomplete or full, just be prepared to cut them up), scissors, 11" x 14" paper, glue, markers are optional.
Directions: Hand each member of the group 5 cards (more or less, whatever works for your group), a pair of scissors and a piece of paper. Tell the group you want them to cut up their cards into varying shapes and sizes. Gauge the reaction, older adults tend to think you are nuts, children and adults might be more inclined to jump right in. Discuss and process any negative reactions to cutting up the cards. Using the new shapes, have the group create an image using the card pieces. Members can use markers to clarify or add color to their image. Once everyone has glued all of his/her pieces, have the group take turns sharing the image. Have each participant tell a story about their picture or title the image.

Vegas Show Girl Feather Fan
Population: Geriatric (including Dementia and Alzheimer's)
Media: Small fold-up fan (or a paper folded into accordion shape), feathers of all different sizes and colors, Elmer's glue, a small dish, jewels and sequins are optional.
Directions: Prepare for the group by putting glue into small dishes for members to share. Each member of the group is given a fan. Show the group how to adhere the feathers to the fan by either 1) dipping feathers into the glue and placing onto the fan, OR 2) squeeze glue onto the fan instead of putting into a dish and place feathers onto the fan. Encourage group members to be creative, add gems and sequins, use different colors of feathers or only a single color for drama. Reminisce with the group about past vacations to Las Vegas. Why is it called "Sin City", what did you do while in Vegas? What musicians used to perform in Las Vegas? Can any one in the group sing a song from one of those singers such as Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin? Have fun with the fans once they have dried such as coming up with a show girl dance.

What art therapy techniques did you do this month?