Saturday, November 30, 2013

Foster Care Binder


 

As we are preparing our house to open back up for foster placements, I am reviewing all of the things I could have done better the first time around.  When my three boys first came I tried to prepare the best I could, but you don't really know what you don't know, LOL!  One of the areas that I totally could have done better in is organizing the massive amounts of paperwork, records, notes, and observations you will have when dealing with foster care.  For the boys I have a HUGE Rubbermaid filled with papers, it is completely disorganized.  Today I am going to show you what I have been working on to keep it all organized this time around!

I decided a Foster Care Binder for each child would be the best way to keep everything in one place and well organized.  You will find the links to individual pages/forms throughout the post, they should open in google docs so you can customize them to fit your needs. 



BINDER COVER:  You can get a copy of my Binder Cover here.  I choose to leave the child's name off of the front, that way if I need to bring the binder with me the name is not visible to anyone.  If you had more than one Binder you may want to put Initials or design a different cover to distinguish each child.

BACK OF BINDER:  I have a copy of this poem (or this design) on the back outside cover of my binder.


Flash Drive:  Any time I receive paperwork, notes, emails, cards, etc.  I scan them into my computer and put a copy on the child's flash drive.  This way if the child moves on I can easily pass the binder along and still have a copy of everything without having to worry about storage space, or I can quickly email caseworkers documents, etc.  This is also a great way to keep copies of school work and crafts, just scan them onto the drive and you don't have to feel guilty about throwing away the weekly spelling test!  If you want to keep the binder when the child moves on, you can always burn everything from the flash drive onto a CD that you can send with them or give to the Case Worker.  I keep the Flash Drive and a few pens and post-its in a zipper pouch in the front of the binder.

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BASIC INFO SHEET:  This sheet goes in the front of the binder and contains any pertinent information such as, Name, Birthdate, Age, Grade, Date of Placement, Allergies,  Medical Diagnosis.  If I can I like to put a picture of the child upon placement on this sheet too.

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CONTACT SHEET:  This sheet includes the names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, and emails for anyone involved with the child.  At the beginning of the placement I will handwrite them on this sheet in pencil, because things can change quickly.  Once things settle down I will go back and type them in if I feel so inclined :)  Behind this sheet is one of those plastic baseball card collector sheets to place business cards in from various professionals involved with the child.  Always ask for a card or if they don't have one get their name and jot it down.  Transporters, visit supervisors, ANYONE!!  You never know when you will need to recall someone who had an interaction with the child.
 Case Workers (County, Agency, Transport, Visit)
 Supervisors
 GAL/CASA
 Birth Parents
 Doctors
 Therapists
 Dentist
 Teachers
 Principal
 Former Placements
 Siblings and Extended Family
 Foster Placements of siblings


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CONTACT LOG:  You can get a copy of my Contact Log here.  Rather than tying to make all the information fit into columns, I've found it is easier for me to give myself as much space as needed to write notes or things I need to follow up on.  I will also insert written communication such as emails, cards, etc. in plastic page protectors.  I will still log these into the main Contact Log and then write "See Attached" in the notes section.  That way I can keep track of everything in chronological order. Get a copy of the cover sheet for this section here.




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IMPORTANT PAPERS:  This section contains any important papers I need for the placement, including placement paperwork, Birth Certificate or SS cards, Medical Cards, permissions for treatment or travel. I also like to include this Incoming Personal Property Inventory sheet so I can keep track of any items the child came with and add any items that are given to them by birthparents throughout the placement.  The other sheet I keep in here is a timeline of the child's life, including past placements and important events.  This can be very helpful when you are talking to various therapists and doctors, I find that having a visual of all the dates is helpful in getting a full picture of the child.  I can also add events to it as they come up throughout the placement or as new information is disclosed by those involved with the case. Get a copy of the cover sheet for this section here.



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MEDICAL SECTION: If you take medically fragile placements you may find it best to have a whole binder divided by type of Doctor/Specialist.  For me,  I keep a summary sheet in the front with doctor/dentist information, how often and when they are supposed to see them, when the last appointment was and when the next one will be.  I keep a separate sheet listing current medications, dosage, directions, who prescribed them as well as a medication history sheet showing past medications.  I usually keep a few copies of their current medication sheet so I can hand it out when asked what medications the child is on ( I also include any Over the Counter medications or vitamins that are given regularly).  I have a medication log to document that I have given the medications.  I then just keep all medical documents by date, if something is important and I will need to find it quickly or often I will put a post-it note on it that sticks out a little from the binder.  In the back of this section I keep Incident Reports which I fill out if there are any bumps or bruises that I want to document. I will scan it in and email it to the caseworker, make a note of the email in the contact log,  and then place it in chronological order in this section. Get the cover sheet for this section here.


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EDUCATION SECTION: I keep a sheet of important information up front, School contact info, teacher name, grade, room #, schedule including "specials" (for example 'Gym Day' so we bring sneakers), school calendar, IEP dates.  Next is a copy of the current IEP and Evaluation in page protectors.  Afterwards all important documents are put in chronological order.  If a placement receives early intervention I keep that paperwork in this section rather than medical section. Get the cover sheet for this section here.

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VISITATION SECTION: I keep a sheet of important information up front, Visit Schedule, Transporter contact information, visitation supervisor information, visitation center address and phone number.   Then I keep a Monthly Calendar where I color in visit days either Green, Yellow, or Red.  Green for successful visit, Yellow if there was an issue (late, left early, etc.), Red for No Show or Cancelled.  I think the visual is helpful to keep track of the visits.  I keep a Notes page to write any observations from the visit or things kids said about visit. Get a copy of this section cover sheet here.

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BEHAVIOR SECTION:  This section will vary depending on what behaviors need to be addressed in each child.  I keep a Monthly Calendar where I can jot down things as well as note pages where more detailed summaries can be placed.  If we are using a specific behavior sheet or reward program I will include those here. Get a copy of this sections cover sheet here.


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COURT RECORDS: I keep a summary sheet of any court info I may have, court house address and contact information, judge assigned, GAL assigned, case number, important dates.   The rest of the Court paperwork gets organized by date.  I will also include a note page if a caseworker gives me a summary of what happened at a court date and include it accordingly. Get the cover sheet for this section here.


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FINANCIAL SECTION: Any expenses that your agency may reimburse for can be kept in this section.  I keep mileage logs here as well as any receipts for tolls.  I also keep a copy of the current Clothing Inventory showing the placement has the required number of clothing items in each category as well as receipts if your agency requires them.  Any extra-curricular activities that the placement may be in  or school fees and the receipts.  Check stubs from the monthly stipend can be hole punched and kept in this section as well. Get the cover sheet for this section here.

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MONTHLY REPORTS:  My agency requires a monthly report to be filled out, I keep copies of each monthly report here as well as some blank ones. Get the cover sheet for this section here.


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PICTURES: I keep a copy of important pictures in the binder such as school pictures for the year, Christmas Card Picture, pictures from important events, a picture with their birth family, pictures with caseworkers, etc. Get the cover sheet for this section here.




How do you organize everything?  Id love to hear in the comments!

Be sure to like me on facebook or pinterest so you can get all the latest posts and printables, see the right hand side for links!

Getting ready for Christmas...one day at a time.

We spent the morning decorating our tree, putting up the ornaments and hanging Christmas things around the house.  Other than a few broken ornaments as we were hanging them, things went relatively well.  After the decorating was a different story!  Matthew somehow thought it would be a good idea to chase his brothers around and throw a glass ornament at them.  This of course resulted in chards of glass ALL over the living room, in blankets, in the carpet, all over the coffee table and stacks of papers.  James of course proceeds to run through the broken glass to tell me resulting in bleeding feet.  Then Matthew began the lying, he didn't do it, nobody did it, the dog did it, Joel did it...blah, blah, blah.  I have to admit this one pushed me over the edge, we had JUST gone through what a pain it is to clean up the broken ornaments when we were decorating the tree. We had JUST gone over the fact that the broken ornaments can hurt somebody.  For goodness sakes you are almost nine years old, don't throw crap!!!!!!! 

Deep breaths momma, deep breaths.......

Ok onto our gift giving this year.  I am not going overboard this year.  For the first few years the boys were home I bought tons of stuff, partly because it was fun and partly because of the guilt factor of all the crappy Christmases they had before me.  However, they don't take care of their stuff, they don't appreciate anything, and it just ends up being a total waste.  This year I am only buying four things each:  Something they Want, Something they Need, Something to Wear, and Something to Read.

Something they Want:  I told them I was only buying one fun present/toy each.  Surprisingly so far they have been totally fine with it, maybe it will hit them on Christmas, but I'm sure they will get tons of fun stuff from my family.  They each have put in their requests.  Matthew wants a new Nintendo DS, but this would be his 5th DS in three years.  I happened to have found the extended warranty I purchased on his last one, so I just shipped it off to be fixed for him...shhhh, don't tell him!  I will be "giving" it to him for Christmas with the new Pokémon X game I bought at GameStop (It was used so I saved 20 bucks and the man shrink wrapped it for me so it looks new!) and the Pokémon 'skin' to put on his DS.  James wanted BeyBlade stuff which I had found a bunch of on clearance last summer and Joel wanted drums, so I ordered a VTech drumset off Amazon.

Something they Need:  There really isn't anything the boys "need", so I decided to get them lessons/memberships for this category.  Matthew is getting a family Zoo Membership, James is getting a online subscription to ABC Mouse, and Joel is getting ice skating lessons.

Something to Wear:  I hit up Gap's Black Friday sale of 50% off everything and got Matthew a new sweatshirt and James and Joel got new super hero sweaters.

Something to Read:  I have been on the look out for really nice hard cover new or like new books at goodwill.  You cant beat it at .50 a book!!  I have found some REALLY nice classic new hardcover books for each of the boys this year.  I even found a couple of series of books for Matthew that he has been wanting.  I splurged and bought the new Diary of a Wimpy kid book for Matthew.  He has been reading like crazy lately and that makes a momma proud!

Christmas Eve we always get new pajamas and a movie and of course there will be the stockings on Christmas morning.  This year I have some dollar store items and will be getting gift cards for fast food places for the stockings.

Now I just have to stick to my guns and not buy all the good deals I see :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

I Spy Jars and a GIVEAWAY

Today's Art Therapy Thursday (or Friday since I'm a day late due to Thanksgiving) are these adorable I Spy jars!

 

About a week ago while at the grocery store I was conned into buying these cute little Apple juices by one persuasive three year old.  We were about to head up to New York for a lunch get together with some other "trauma moms" from Orlando.  This would be a four hour trip up and a four hour trip back for lunch, crazy right?!  BUT oh so worth it ;). Anyway, we had to pick up some snacks and these made their way into my cart.

 
(This picture is of the plastic bottles, our grocery store only had glass....I'm keeping my eye out for these!)

I decided these little bottles couldn't go to waste and found the perfect craft to put them to use.

I had picked up several different beads at a craft store awhile back on clearance.  You will need letter beads and an assortment of others.  I had soccer balls, footballs, baseballs, and animals.  I also had some sequins that I thought would look great.  

We filled the jars up with rice.  You can dye the rice using food coloring but we didn't do that this time.  You will need to leave some space in the jars so they can be "shaken" around.

I had the kids each pick a color of sequins and dump them in the jar and then let them pick an assortment of beads to put in.

In Matthews jar we put the letters "RELAX" and in the younger two kiddos we put their names.

Once everything was in, we superglued the caps on, hopefully avoiding any curious hands from dumping rice everywhere.  The glass jars themselves may be a little iffy for a child prone to throwing things when upset, but were gonna hope for the best!  You could always use a little plastic water bottle instead if you're worried about it breaking or maybe you will be lucky enough to find the plastic version of these jars in your local store.
 
For now we put our jars over in the calm down corner.  The boys have gone over several times to play I Spy and find their letters or other beads.




GIVEAWAY:
In addition to using Art to help the boys and I connect, one other great way to communicate with children is BOOKS!  I love using books that are relevant to whatever a particular child is going through.  I've got a great give away for all my readers of a new book written by Ricky Martin.  The book is called "Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars":
 
"Santiago’s biggest dream is to perform on stage.  But when he doesn’t get the lead role in the school play, he can’t help but doubt himself. Encouraged by his father’s inspiring words, Santiago rebuilds his confidence and finds that with passion and dedication, you can achieve amazing things beyond your wildest imagination." - Amazon

What a great message for our kiddos, despite everything they have been through they can still reach their biggest dreams.  I hope you win and can enjoy it with your kids!
 


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Communicating with your children and a giveaway!

 
I don't know about you but sometimes it is really difficult to have a meaningful conversation with your kids.  I've got a nine year old boy...communication is not his strong point!  I'm lucky if I get more than a one word answer, LOL.  There are a couple of things I have done to try and encourage communication between the two of us.  I learned quickly to not ask questions like, "How was school?" or "What's wrong?".  It is too easy for him to say "Nothing" and move on to playing video games :).  Instead I try to say things like, "Tell me all about your day" or "Tell me one thing you learned today".  Make it a command sentence instead of a question sentence, if I can remember to do it I get much more communication from him. Today I'm going to show you a communication journal that we have been using in our house.  The basic premise is we take turns writing in the journal, anything we want.  The journal stays on his bed and he can write in it at night before falling asleep and I write him back during the day. Not only is it a great tool for communicating but what a great keepsake to look back on later!
 
I've made two different covers which can be placed on the front of the journal, you can download them from google docs here.
 
GIVEAWAY:

One other great way to communicate with children is BOOKS!  I love using books that are relevant to whatever a particular child is going through.  I've got a great give away for all my readers of a new book written by Ricky Martin.  The book is called "Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars":
 
"Santiago’s biggest dream is to perform on stage.  But when he doesn’t get the lead role in the school play, he can’t help but doubt himself. Encouraged by his father’s inspiring words, Santiago rebuilds his confidence and finds that with passion and dedication, you can achieve amazing things beyond your wildest imagination." - Amazon

What a great message for our kiddos, despite everything they have been through they can still reach their biggest dreams.  I hope you win and can enjoy it with your kids!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Open Adoptions in Foster Care: Part 1



As research in adoptions has grown over the last few decades so has "openness" in those adoptions. When pursuing the typical private domestic adoption in America the adoption triad (first families/birth families, adoptive parents, and adoptees) are often encouraged to pursue some level of openness going forward.  That openness is a spectrum ranging from pictures or letters sent to the agency and then passed along all the way to accepting and welcoming the birth parent as a member of the family, complete with holidays and babysitting gigs.  Its generally been accepted that in most cases this openness serves as a benefit to the adoptee allowing them to acknowledge and embrace where they came from, provide an outlet to answer the questions they may have, and to know that they are loved and cherished by all the parties of their life story.


But, what about those children who are adopted from foster care.  Their situation proves difficult and unique when discussing openness in their adoption.  The majority of the time their birth families did not make a thoughtful choice rooted in love to find them a forever family.  Instead their birth parents rights were terminated or the parent voluntarily relinquished when it became evident that they were unable to keep the child safe.  These same birth parents who were supposed to love them abused and neglected them causing trauma that has lifelong scars.


How does an adoptive parent balance the need to protect a vulnerable child from those who failed them early in life and the desire to provide their child that connection with their past?


I certainly don't have all the answers!  Each story in the world of foster care adoptions is SO unique, but I can share with you our story.  I hope you join us!  I would love to hear how other families have tackled this unique angle of openness in adoptions, feel free to comment or if you want to share your story in a guest post shoot me an email (see Contact Form on the right).

Skittles Game

 
 
The M&M games were a big hit with James and Joel yesterday, as well as with the Mobile Therapist!  I decided to create a few more games to have on hand, these ones use skittles.  Free printables for these games can be found here, which links you to google docs.
 
 
 This game board connects with our "Calm Down Corner" and relaxation exercises we have been practicing.  There is another game board for emotions located in the packet as well!


 
The basic directions of the game: Each person will receive a fun size bag of skittles. They will pull out a skittle and move their piece to the next space of that color.  They will then do the activity listed for that color and eat the skittle.  Whoever gets to the finish first wins!
 
 
Be sure to check out the M&M game!
 
If you want to follow me on Pinterest for more great ideas and activities click the Pinterest button on the right side of the blog :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

M&Ms Feelings Activity



My kids LOVE m&m's, they may or may not be used frequently as a bribe in our household.
I found this idea on Pinterest and it's been sitting around on one of my "Boards" forever!!  I've modified he original game a bit to fit my families particular needs and I think it turned out great!  We will be doing the activity on Monday when James' Mobile Therapist is out, so Ill let you know how it goes.

I've made two versions of the M&M game, the first one focuses on feelings and the second focuses on feeling Angry and calming down.  You will need to print out a game board, you could either print one for the whole family to share or print mini boards so each person has their own.  I laminated mine so we can use them again without getting them ruined.  Each person will need a fun size bag of M&M's or an assortment of 10 or so M&M's.  You can go around in a circle each taking a turn, pulling out a M&M and doing what the game board says.
 


 Here is a link to my post about our Calm Down Corner and strategies:  Calm Down Corner

Here are both games to download from google docs.  They are full page size, I just set my printer to print multiple pages to make them half or quarter page sized.

If you want to follow me on Pinterest for more great ideas, click the link on the right hand side of my blog!

Be sure to join us on Art Therapy Thursdays, for great arts and crafts ideas to use with special kiddos:
 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

PTSD and Weight Gain


Have you read this article about how PTSD could lead to sizeable weight gain in women.

"The women were asked about the worst trauma they experienced and if they had symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms included re-experiencing the traumatic event, feeling threatened, avoiding social situations and feeling emotionally numb. PTSD was defined as having four or more symptoms over a month or more."

Often times the "trauma" that we as mothers of attachment challenged children is referred to as secondary PTSD, although not an official diagnosis, it refers to the mirroring of PTSD symptoms that our children exhibit.  I think this is dismissive to what we as mothers have gone through.  I hear from families all over about the constant threats and violence that some of them have endured, often for years.  They have lived with locked doors, hidden their kitchen knives, installed video monitoring systems and developed safety plans.  They have been physically and verbally abused by their own children.  They have been isolated from the outside world.  Our homes and experiences have moved beyond "secondary" trauma. 

Ill take it a step further and say that the majority of moms I know go beyond Secondary PTSD and meet the criteria for full blown PTSD.  Yes, our children may have PTSD and we very well may mirror their symptoms.  However, the longer you live with a child who has experienced trauma the more direct and indirect trauma you receive from the child.  I can confidently say that even though our home is relatively free from direct trauma, threats and violence at this time, the effects from the PTSD that I suffered early on are real and still something that I am working through.

I encourage you to take a look at the PTSD criteria, read over the article and discuss it with your doctor.  I know I for one am totally blaming my weight gain on this..........it definitely has nothing to do with my love of cheese fries and hatred of exercise!

Take a look at the DSM-V criteria for PTSD: (link the following definition was taken from)

Diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a history of exposure to a traumatic event that meets specific stipulations and symptoms from each of four symptom clusters: intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The sixth criterion concerns duration of symptoms; the seventh assesses functioning; and, the eighth criterion clarifies symptoms as not attributable to a substance or co-occurring medical condition.
Two specifications are noted including delayed expression and a dissociative subtype of PTSD, the latter of which is new to DSM-5. In both specifications, the full diagnostic criteria for PTSD must be met for application to be warranted.

Criterion A: stressor

The person was exposed to: death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, as follows: (one required)
  1. Direct exposure.
  2. Witnessing, in person.
  3. Indirectly, by learning that a close relative or close friend was exposed to trauma. If the event involved actual or threatened death, it must have been violent or accidental.
  4. Repeated or extreme indirect exposure to aversive details of the event(s), usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, collecting body parts; professionals repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse). This does not include indirect non-professional exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures.

Criterion B: intrusion symptoms

The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in the following way(s): (one required)
  1. Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive memories. Note: Children older than six may express this symptom in repetitive play.
  2. Traumatic nightmares. Note: Children may have frightening dreams without content related to the trauma(s).
  3. Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) which may occur on a continuum from brief episodes to complete loss of consciousness. Note: Children may reenact the event in play.
  4. Intense or prolonged distress after exposure to traumatic reminders.
  5. Marked physiologic reactivity after exposure to trauma-related stimuli.

Criterion C: avoidance

Persistent effortful avoidance of distressing trauma-related stimuli after the event: (one required)
  1. Trauma-related thoughts or feelings.
  2. Trauma-related external reminders (e.g., people, places, conversations, activities, objects, or situations).

Criterion D: negative alterations in cognitions and mood

Negative alterations in cognitions and mood that began or worsened after the traumatic event: (two required)
  1. Inability to recall key features of the traumatic event (usually dissociative amnesia; not due to head injury, alcohol, or drugs).
  2. Persistent (and often distorted) negative beliefs and expectations about oneself or the world (e.g., "I am bad," "The world is completely dangerous").
  3. Persistent distorted blame of self or others for causing the traumatic event or for resulting consequences.
  4. Persistent negative trauma-related emotions (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame).
  5. Markedly diminished interest in (pre-traumatic) significant activities.
  6. Feeling alienated from others (e.g., detachment or estrangement).
  7. Constricted affect: persistent inability to experience positive emotions.

Criterion E: alterations in arousal and reactivity

Trauma-related alterations in arousal and reactivity that began or worsened after the traumatic event: (two required)
  1. Irritable or aggressive behavior
  2. Self-destructive or reckless behavior
  3. Hypervigilance
  4. Exaggerated startle response
  5. Problems in concentration
  6. Sleep disturbance

Criterion F: duration

Persistence of symptoms (in Criteria B, C, D, and E) for more than one month.

Criterion G: functional significance

Significant symptom-related distress or functional impairment (e.g., social, occupational).

Criterion H: exclusion

Disturbance is not due to medication, substance use, or other illness.

Specify if: With dissociative symptoms.

In addition to meeting criteria for diagnosis, an individual experiences high levels of either of the following in reaction to trauma-related stimuli:
  1. Depersonalization: experience of being an outside observer of or detached from oneself (e.g., feeling as if "this is not happening to me" or one were in a dream).
  2. Derealization: experience of unreality, distance, or distortion (e.g., "things are not real").

Specify if: With delayed expression.

Full diagnosis is not met until at least six months after the trauma(s), although onset of symptoms may occur immediately.

There are some really great therapies out there for PTSD, if your looking for more information I would check out EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) and see if it might help you or your child in your healing.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos

http://bit.ly/1aUzVnQ
ADOPTION BOOK ALERT:

If you all are anything like me you love reading other people's adoption stories!  You may remember Nia Varalos from the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, well she has recently came out with a book documenting her adoption story.  Nia and her husband first met their daughter when she was almost three years old.  The book tells her families story, "Some families are created in different ways but are still, in every way, a family."

I cant wait to read it!

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!   http://www.deborahhage.com/articles/sculpy.html

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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