A simple activity to help calm and reflect.
You will need:
Pre-cut cardboard shape of a dove, or any other animal
Newspaper/plastic cloth for the painting surface
The dots can be made in a variety of ways – with fingertips, with the end of a paintbrush or pencil. Craft suppliers sell cotton filters which are ideal for this project.
Experiment with your selected painting tool on some paper before applying paint to your project. Experiment with different amounts of paint and how much pressure to apply.
Dots can be applied anyway, or incorporated into a pattern. Take time to think about a design and how you would like to finished product to look.
This activity could be used to teach simple patterning such as 1/1 patterns with colours (blue/red, blue/red) or 1/2 patterns (blue/red/red, blue/red/red) or using even more complex patterns.
Incorporate teaching about primary and secondary colours. Allow children to explore mixing colours.
Study traditional Aboriginal dot paintings, methods and meanings within their art.
Pointillism is a form of painting using a series of dots – where and how did this originate? Show students some examples of this art form.
Experiment with different textures and thicknesses of dotting instruments i.e. pencil end v pencil nib.
Finger painting is a great activity to develop and strengthen fine motor skills, concentration and hand to eye coordination.
For Grief and Loss:
Painting is a great activity to allow creative expression and allow children to explore with colours and textures. Although simple, children can easily gain a sense of achievement by creating their own design, play about with colours, and for some children who may have bigger issues on their mind, to just finish a project.
The image used could be of a cat/dog or beloved pet that had died.
Encourage the child to tell you about their picture and design, and why they have chosen it. This can give insight to what they are feeling and thinking.
Finger painting is a sensory experience, and pleasurable for some children, while others will not like it. Either way, let the child be your guide.
Encourage and appreciate the child’s efforts. It can be displayed on a coloured piece of paper/cardboard, put on the fridge with a magnet, or paint both sides and attach some fishing line and hang it in a window.
The dove used here is a symbol of peace, and explaining to children that talking about what is bothering them or what they have experienced, can bring them a sense of peace. For children who have experienced trauma, sharing their story bit by bit by gradual exposure can over time reduce heightened emotions.
Relaxation and mindfulness techniques such as focused breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and the use of imagery can be taught to children and young people to help them to self sooth in difficult times.
Help the child to develop an image of a safe place to soothe them when they are upset. This can be real or imaginary, and encourage the child to draw their safe place. It is suggested to not place a deceased loved one in this safe place, as this can become distressing to traumatised children.
Talking about the child’s safety network can help to bring a sense of safety and peace. With the child, make a list of their support network and people they can count on (parents, aunts/uncles, grandparents, teachers, police officers, the church, the government).
Giving children tools to self-regulate in stressful times can help to develop resilience and an ability to deal with strong emotions and feelings when they arise.
Cohen, J, Marrarino, A. & Deblinger E. (2006). Treating trauma and traumatic grief in children and adolescents. The Guilford Press. New York
Links to the Australian Curriculum
ACAVAM106 The Arts / Visual Arts / Foundation to Year 2
Explore ideas, experiences, observations and imagination to create visual artworks and design, including considering ideas in artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists
ACAVAM107 The Arts / Visual Arts / Foundation to Year 2
Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks
Everyone wants a sense of peace in this world, and my hope is that this Easter you find the Prince of Peace himself. Jesus.
Easter Blessings, Leeony