Cognitive Activities in Art Therapy Camp
Session one of art therapy camp flew by. We created some AMAZING sculptures and artwork — some even by accident! (that’s sometimes the best artwork). Our two big projects for the week were our paper mache dragonfly and the butterfly ring sculpture. While we learned a lot about butterflies and dragonflies, getting our hands messy and paint everywhere was the best part. The last day of camp we made our no-bake cookies and had super sensory fun to celebrate a fun week together.
More Benefits from Art Therapy
Throughout art therapy camp we’ve talked about some of the benefits of art therapy. Hard to imagine there are more! From a cognitive perspective, art therapy allows students to make choices (“What colors do I use?”, “Where do I put my brush on the paper?”, “Do I want to mix colors?”), follow directions (we always go through all the steps to a project and most of the time even do a “practice” version), and improves focus. Art therapy helps to reduce stress, fear, and/or anxiety as well. We did two group projects during the week which helps students learn to cooperate and share, while still being independent all while doing cognitive activities. The Elderly and Dementia Research has been done regarding the elderly with dementia and Alzheimer’s and researchers found that performing cognitive activities such as art restores and motivates muscle memory, improves cognition and focuses attention, evokes new opportunities for connecting with others, reduces boredom, and leads to self-expression and self-discovery.
Our paper mache dragonfly looks more like a mummy at this stage! Cannot wait until we get to paint it.
Our sculptures took a little longer to dry than we anticipated, so the big reveal for those will come soon. In the meantime, our winners from the Special Olympics art contest will have their artwork on display in the trophy case between the gym and the gameroom.
Our butterfly sculpture produced some of the most unique and surprising artwork of the week. While spray painting the butterflies we punched out for the sculpture, the butterflies and posterboard behind it created art with dimension and color that fades into other designs and colors.
This is one of my favorite pieces of artwork we created all week.
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