I’ve been gone for too long without blogging. I recently participated and volunteered for an event held by Footprints Behavioral Interventions to do exciting activities along kids with autism. Although not as many kids showed up as anticipated (due to another very popular event held that day), everything turned out for the better. Around 15 kids total showed up and some other random kids joined us as well and with the amount of volunteers present, we were able to shift our full attention to one or two kids instead of multiple. Check out more pictures and details regarding our event!
The activities held were mostly arts and crafts, but bouncy balls and bubbles were brought as well. There was also a playground present in the park where the event was held. Some of the arts and craft stations included drawing and painting, crayon shaving art (where I was assigned), and making necklaces or bracelets out of beads. Extra artsy stuff was set up as well such as stickers and “Bendaroos”.
List of activities/stations:
- drawing & painting
- bouncy balls
- crayon shavings
- beads (make your own necklace/bracelet)
- coloring books
- jump ropes
- FOOD! (water and snacks were provided)
Problems & Solutions
All the activities listed above were great and all, but the problem was, almost all of the kids who participated in the play-day were uninterested in the arts. It was most likely too complicated for them to do. It was really hard for me to capture the attention of one of the kids I worked with, but she smiled throughout the day, so it was ok that she didn’t pay attention to me. What did work was the bubbles and the balls. Many of them also played on the playground as well. The activity that my group set up (crayon shavings) was unpopular with the kids at first, but later most of the volunteers came over and made their own masterpieces. Other kids from the park also joined in on the fun!
The preparations took a LOT of time. There was a lot of preparing to do because different shades of crayon shavings were needed. Before the shaving was the peeling. Honestly speaking I hated peeling the crayon wrappers of the crayons because I would always end up with crayon bits stuck in my nails. The crayons were first shaved using either scissors, graters, or knives and placed in a ziploc bag. The shavings would then be crushed and pounded on to create sand-like textures. My hands were cramped from shaving too many crayons.Markers, crayons, tissue paper, and pens were brought to the play-day just in case the shavings ran out. Glue was used to combine with the shavings and popsicle sticks were needed to scoop the mixture onto cardboard canvases.
One of my partners got the idea of crayon shavings art from Qubo, a popular channel on tv. It turned out better than expected, but also much more work was done than anticipated.
This was a great experience! It brought me back to memories of when I attended my first Key club event. All of this made me really think about the things people do to better the world. It was fun being able to share time playing with kids and learning how to behave around them as well as meet new people. I would definitely volunteer for this type of work again, but next time I will be even better prepared by bringing in alternative activities.
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