Dabbling in Art Therapy!

If you're like us, Art Therapy is a whole new side of Art that you may have never used or even seen in the classroom. A member of staff in our classroom recently wanted to introduce the idea and after some very successful sessions I thought I would share a quick outline here - because when we searched online, there was actually very little that we were able to find out about it!

The sessions run on a weekly basis and there is a topic per month. The main topics this year were colours and so our colour of the month was green - this linked in really nicely with our Frog Olympics theme!

The session starts with the children sat around the IWB for the introduction of the powerpoint. 

The powerpoint consists of:
  • Hello / Greeting Song
  • Colour song - Green song this week (find on youtube here)
  • Students are handed out their green frog hands they recently made ( you don't have to do this - but we did and the children loved it!)
  • A slide with images of lots of different green objects; apple, pear, car etc. At this point, a member of staff also works around the group with a green cloth bag filled with green objects - the children pull out a green object and staff/child names what they have pulled out.
  • A quick game on the powerpoint where students have to answer the question 'Where is the green (insert object here)' and below it are two different colour pictures of that object - students have to find the green one.
  • A slide with images and symbols of what activities are on offer that session
  • A slide with a calming green background with calming music to be played in the background which continues to be played throughout the session (we used this music)
Once the slide with the calming music is being played, students are directed to the different activities set up around the classroom - this is their choice of what activity they would like to do first.

The activities we have around the room are:

  • Play dough table - green play dough with green equipment to use with it - cutters etc.
  • Water table - We have a water table so we empty this out, fill with new water, add lots of green glitter to it and lots of different green toys and clear jugs for the children to play with.
  • Free paint - One table is covered with pieces of blank paper and lots of different shades of green paint as well as lots of different types of paint brushes, tooth brushes, sponges etc for the children to use to paint whatever they would like - we even have some painting their hands to make handprints and even their faces!
  • Soft Play Fun - The soft play room was transformed into a sea of green, lots of green material, green lights and different green toys for the children to relax with and explore.
  • Guided Art - A table is set up with one member of staff working with one student at a time, this is usually a staff led, guided activity, the last session the students made footprint Brazil flags (see below)

The session can be as short or long as you like, with the calming music playing in the background be sure to take a calming approaching to the art therapy session and allow children to have lots of free art time, exploring different activities. 

Do you do Art Therapy in your classroom? How does your session go? 

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