Thursday, November 21, 2013

Art Therapy Thursdays: Animal Sculpture

I found this weeks Art Therapy Thursday idea on Deborah Hage's website.  There is some really great articles on her site, its worth taking a few minutes to explore!

The activity involves the children making their own animals out of clay.  You can pick up the Sculpey brand clay at any craft store. I got mine at Walmart for about $8.  This type of clay can be baked after the kids are done to make the sculptures hard.  You could use regular modeling clay as long as you didn't want the sculptures to be able to stick around for awhile!

I explained to the kids that they needed to make an animal out of the clay that they would want to become.  It could be a real animal or a made up animal, but it had to be 3D (able to stand up) not flat.  I also told them when they were done they would get to tell us all about their animal and why they would want to be that animal.

When they were finished I gave them each the opportunity to tell me all about their animals.  I asked some guiding questions like "What does your animal eat" and "Where does it live" if they needed help telling us about it.  It really was amazing the insight I was able to get by observing and interpreting their choices when creating the animals.

Matthew created an Elephant.  He told us he wanted to be an elephant so he would be big and strong and have sharp tusks that could defeat anybody.  This has been an ongoing theme for Matthew since he came to me three years ago, the desire to be bigger and stronger than everyone, "defeating" the bad guys.  Makes perfect sense given his history, clearly there is still a lot of vulnerability and feeling helpless here. 

James made an octopus.  When asked why he wanted to be an octopus he told us that he could swim after people in the ocean and catch them with all of his arms. This describes James to a "T".  He is an attention seeker and a hugger with some serious boundary/personal space issues :)  I can definitely picture him swimming around the ocean chasing people and hugging them with all those arms.

Joel made some rock thing that he called his "baby", cause....well, he's 3 and he liked to smoosh the colors together, LOL!

We had a great time together doing this activity.  The boys were all engaged in their own sculpture.  They had to ask me for pieces of clay so it gave us an opportunity to practice manners and sharing. 

I'd love to see pictures if you try this activity at your house!!  Feel free to link to your blog post in the comments!

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