One of the most popular areas of Tŷ Hafan is and always has been the art room. It’s the room most synonymous with that colour and vibrancy of Tŷ Hafan and is where much of the magic is made. Not only is art great fun for the children, it’s important for developing creativity, as well as physical, cognitive and emotional strength and imagination.
As Children’s Art Week launches on 10th June, Art Club volunteer Lyn explains how art helps children reach their potential, while giving families life-long memories created by sharing wonderful moments together.
Tuesday’s a busy day at the hospice. The morning’s ‘Stay and Play’ and afternoon Art Club have become regular activities. Since becoming a volunteer almost ten years ago, my role is that of running the Art Club and I must say I do love it, as every week brings something different!
Old teaching habits die hard and I still find the need to prepare and plan our art activities in detail but gone are the lesson plans and key stage objectives. These arty activities are purely for fun!
Our children’s needs are often complex so the support and involvement of their carers is essential to me as a volunteer. Most activities include the use of multi-sensory materials which can be weird and wonderful ranging from cornflour gloop to shaving foam to rose petals and oats and anything else between.
It’s great to see a little smile appear when simply pouring coloured rice through little fingers or the look of surprise and delight when stamping a kitchen brush into paint to make a dandelion or firework. .And of course there’s always glitter. Lots of glitter.
This week it’s been snails! Snails with buttons, snails with bottle tops, sparkly snails, feathery snails, whatever takes your fancy snails. We like snails!
Often we’ll use the children’s work to decorate the hospice which is just great. We all love to see their handiwork brightening the walls but it’s the doing that it’s all about. .When families join in too it’s an added bonus. Mums start to visibly relax to chill and chat when focused on gluing, cutting or painting while dads somehow find that hidden competitive streak!
Each week is different. It can be very quiet if it’s time for an afternoon nap or meds or super busy when everyone seems keen to take part so flexibility is the name of the game. Either way each week brings its own rewards and, along with friendships made, keeps me wanting to come back. Wonder if I’d be welcome for another ten years?