Doll Making Workshop was a hit with the participants.
River of life painting done by one of the participants.
This program was a hit with the 6 participants all with immigrant backgrounds. Each week we explored a theme:
Week 1: Art Journey, creating a safe space and introducing the group
Outcomes: building a support network, introduced art as a resource to deal with life & emotions.
Week 2: Introduction to Hero’s journey and who am I process
Outcomes: Self-reflection, a way to frame life, introduction to self-love
Week 3: Doll Making with intention (who will I be in the future)
Outcomes: forming identity, ownership of self, created a community within the group
Week 4: Spirit Sticks (past, present and future, where do I want to go?)
Outcomes: Built reflecting skills, a way to view their lives, goal setting catalyst
Week 5: River of Life painting (how does my life feel?,what is my quiet place?)
Outcomes: Introspection, what are my resources, importance of nature
Week 6: Creating the celebration and finishing off art pieces
Outcomes: sense of achievement, creating something to share with the world
Week 7: Celebration of the Art Journey
Outcomes: acknowledgement, celebration of their journey’s, sharing something that is important to them.
The final workshop was a celebration of their achievements and a way to show their family and friends what they’d been up to for the past 7 weeks. Some of the participants elected to answer questions about their experiences to the group and the feedback was phenomenal.
In their words “today it was really enjoyful for me. I felt really relaxed doing or making doll that reminded me (of) my childhood. Thanks for everything”.
“Today was great (spirit stick workshop) I like(d) everything we (did)”.
“It was awesome I learn new thing that I didn’t do before. It was wonderful. Thank you”
To sum it up facilitating this series of workshops was amazing I learnt so much about the participants culture and about myself as a teacher/art therapist. I am now in contact with other community houses around my area to start this program at other centres. I’m looking forward to sharing this with other amazing people. Thank you so much!
I worry a lot, about things I cannot control. About where life is taking me, if i’m living my truth-even though I know not at all times I’m not. Not following my heart, just packing up and leaving, going to the bush, the beach, just away… It feels like a tightness, holding my breath. I want to escape.
I have all the reasons why a certain relationship won’t work, ways in which I can escape without hurting the person i’m dating… but the truth is I’m just afraid of getting hurt. I’m afraid that if I open myself up to someone i’ll be hurt. Excuses are my way of distancing myself, numbness is the way I tune out.
I analyse and turn over in my mind why he is so wrong for me, why I can’t accept his generosity. The I analyse why I can’t receive, why I think that is wrong. I want to let go, release this constant pressure I put on myself.
My wisdom tells me to breathe, be gentle and realise that I don’t know. I will never, ever know anything that will happen in life and that’s ok. Its ok not to know the future.
Messy Twister: Simple game … but very fun. Take a twister board, and pour paint onto each circle (match the colors). Then, compete as usual. This one gets messy, but you’ll both be laughing, and the clean-up can be just as fun.
Paint-Gun Fights: Fill up a variety of dollar store squirt guns with all sorts of colors. If you’re planning this, grab two cheap white Ts and some shaped stickers. After the fight, you will have a cool, unique shirt to remember the adventure. (Fill up balloons with paint to use as grenades in your battle!)
Call your friends and organize a clothing swap party. Tell them to bring all the clothing, shoes and accessories that no longer suit them (or fit them) and spend an evening hanging out and shopping for free.
Host a potluck. Humans are social animals, and we all love to eat. Food is a great icebreaker.
Make homemade greeting cards for upcoming holidays and birthdays. You can use fabric scraps, magazine cut-outs and odd bits of beautiful paper. People love to receive snail mail.
Have a Baking Day with friends, invite them to bring the ingredients. One of my favourite dishes is Fresh Avocado Dip, delicious.
A 101 Goals in 1001 Days list is a very effective way to codify all of the ideas of things you’d like to do all into one place, so that when you have spare time, you can just turn to the list and do what’s next on it. Spend some time thinking of things that belong on this list, then when it’s finished, you’ll have an excellent list of potential accomplishments and be ready to go with lots of activities.
Have a film festival.
Invite some friends over and have them each bring one of their favorite DVDs. Then just settle in with some snacks (whatever you have on hand) and burn a lazy afternoon and evening just watching movies together. It’s a ton of fun and it doesn’t cost anything at all.
Build a giant blanket fort.
If you have kids, there are few things more fun than an afternoon spent building and playing in a gigantic fort in the living room. Use chairs, blankets, and tables to make an enormous hidden structure, then hide in there and play games and read books. If they’re a bit older, build two forts (on opposite sides of the room) and have “fort wars” – toss small beanbags and pillows back and forth. No cost, but an afternoon that’s a ton of fun.
Teach yourself a card trick.
There are many card tricks out there that rely on knowing a specific pattern, some basic sleight of hand, or some combination of the two. Learning a clever one and mastering how it’s done can be a great way to spend an afternoon, especially since the skill can be used again and again as a party trick. Here’s a great one to learn – it’s really clever and can utterly baffle people.
Just mix one part liquid dish detergent with 15 parts water – one quick way to do this is to just mix 1/4 cup detergent with 3 3/4 cups of water. Use filtered and fairly soft water if you can. Then, take a wire coat hanger, bend and twist it into a small loop or two, and you’re ready to go. Another idea – take tin cans or coffee cans, remove the top and bottom, and hammer down any sharp metal edges, then dip the end in the solution and wave it in the air. Blowing bubbles works even better if you have small children who love to chase them or are just learning to blow them.
Write a letter to your future children or grandchildren.
All of us have some advice or some stories inside of us that we want to someday share with our children, grandchildren, or other loved ones. Take some time to write these things down with the intent of giving them to that person some day. In the event that you pass on, you can be sure that they’ll still receive the things you want to tell them. This can be a very powerful way to consider your feelings and memories as you format them in a way that they can be shared with the ones you care about the most.
Start a book club – or find one to join.
If you like reading and know other friends that enjoy it, too, consider starting a book club with them where you all read the same book for a week then meet to talk about it. It can transform reading from a solitary activity into a more socially oriented one, and with a library at your disposal, it can be a free activity as well.
Have an “entertainment swap” with a friend.
This one’s pretty easy. Just have a friend bring over a pile of their own DVDs, CDs, books, video games, etc. that they own that they think you’d like. When they get there, have a big temporary swap – swap them an item for an item. This not only will refresh your media collection for a while, but can provide a great opportunity for you to talk about your interests with a friend.
Play Frisbee at the park.
Just get a friend (or a pet) and dig that old frisbee out of your closet, then head out to an open field and toss it around. It’s a lot of fun, a great excuse to run around and stretch and jump, and it doesn’t cost a dime.
Make some of your Pinterest pins
If you’re one of the 104.4 million Pinterest users then this one is for you. You know all those pins that you have on your boards? This is the perfect time to make some of them. The challenge: only tackle the projects that you can do with supplies you already own.
Spa day at home
Use your cooled morning coffee grounds as a full body exfoliator, soak your feet, put a warm washcloth over your face, turn on your favourite relaxing free radio stations (Songza and Pandora for excellent free radio), and use your imagination to pretend you’re in a luxury resort laying by the poolside as a tan pool-boy serves you free! (Hey, let’s go for it) ice-cold drinks.
Go Dumpster Diving!
You just might find a dirty treasure that just needs a small amount of cleaning to come to life again. See I Went Dumpster Diving and More Adventures in Dumpster Diving.
Start a happy book
Compile all of your good memories in one place. When you’re feeling crappy open it up to a random page for an instant boost. Include those silly things that happen in life that crack you up and make you really to-the-gut happy, you know the ones. You just need a good, solid little notebook.
Write a gratitude list
Sometimes it’s just a matter of noticing how very lucky we truly are. Take notice of all the big obvious things (roof over your head) as well as those things that seem trivial but that help to make your life really great and enjoyable (the bus arriving right as you get to the stop- LOVE that). See What are Your Grateful for Right Now? and Dramatically Increase the Quality of Your Life.
Open Mic night
There are a ton of talented people out there in your very city just waiting for an audience to entertain.
Be anonymously nice
Leave random nice notes all around town. Some ideas for your notes: “You can do it!” or “You’ve got this!”; it just might be the sign someone has been looking for to take the next leap in their life. Hang the notes on light posts, tuck them into car doors and windshields, leave them on community cork-boards. Spread around kindness and awesomeness and it will come right back to you. It’s the craziest thing but goodness boomerangs! Check out: 134 Ideas for Random Acts of Kindess to get you started with ideas!