Posts Tagged ‘coping’

Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle

March 17, 2014

Over the last few months, I’ve been researching and collecting different sensory based activities and ideas (mostly on Pinterest) to support self-regulation and creative ways to foster relaxation in children & adolescents.  My long term goal is to create some kind of comfort kit that includes a variety of these hands on tools that I can use in my group work with school age youth impacted by trauma.

For more information about self-regulation, trauma, and children, check out these posts:

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I’ve started to move from the “collecting ideas phase” to the “making & experimentation phase”, embarking on trying out these ideas myself to see how they might work.

My first self-regulation comfort kit accessory I’ve started to work on and play with is a Relaxation Bottle. I became inspired by this idea through discovering this helpful post. I thought this type of relaxation bottle could be a soothing and fun way for group members to calm their minds and bodies, as well as help bring their attention to the here and now through focusing on the inside of the bottle.

I gathered these simple supplies: A plastic bottle, extra fine glitter, glitter glue, and clear tacky glue.

Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle | creativity in motion

Then I followed these steps to make my prototype:

  • Fill the plastic bottle 3/4 full with hot tap water
  • Add glitter glue, loose extra fine glitter, and about half a bottle of clear tacky glue

The combination of the glitter glue and clear tacky glue creates a sparkly solution for the fine loose glitter to gently dance in. It is important the water you use to fill the bottle with is hot, as this will melt the glitter glue and will prevent clumping inside the bottle.

Group members could first release some physical energy through helping shake the bottle and then watch the glitter slowly settle to the bottom of the bottle. Discussing the impact of this activity in relationship to the youth’s body and awareness of sensations they experienced would also be interesting to learn more about (and express through art!).

 A helpful final touch will include making sure the bottle’s cap is permanently attached with some kind of superglue to keep the solution from getting out!

Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle | creativity in motion

Having done this first test run, I think my next attempt will try a slightly smaller plastic bottle (it would be cool to have individual bottles for each group member to use), as well as include more glitter glue to make the solution inside a little thicker (I used a smaller sized bottle), but overall… the relaxation bottle idea was fun to make and I think will make a great addition to the toolkit I’m creating.

I will keep you posted on other self-regulation comfort kit accessories I try out as this experimentation phase continues!

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Related Posts:

Inspiration from the 2013 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly

My Trauma Informed Pinterest Board

Top 10: Impact of Trauma and Neglect on the Developing Child with Dr. Bruce Perry

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Worry Doll | Muñeca Quitapenas [How To]

June 19, 2012

My week started off with some Worry Doll making for one of my groups. I forgot how much fun they can be to make!

Here’s a little bit of a worry doll making how to:

Muñeca Quitapenas = Dolls [that] remove worries

Wooden Clothespins, Yarn or Embroidery Thread, Pipecleaners

Wrap & twist a pipecleaner around the clothespin to create arms. Cut to size for arm length.

Begin wrapping your clothespin with yarn. Wrap over the pipecleaner as well.

When wrapping gets to the waist, you can start wrapping each “leg” individually

Wrapping the other leg!

Use markers, colored pencils, or paint to add a facial expression, hair, skin tone, shoes, etc.

I’ve created worry dolls with many youth throughout the years as not only a fun art experience (as seen in The Kids’ Multicultural Art Book: Art and Craft Experiences from Around the World), but in my work as an art therapist, the process is also a meaningful and creative way to explore themes connected to anxiety and worry. Making worry dolls provides a great opportunity for storytelling, to discuss coping, and the repetitive, patterned nature of wrapping the yarn around the clothespin can be soothing and calming.

In This Instant There Are No Obstacles

December 18, 2008

 

No Obstacles

This is one of my favorite collages and a mantra that I often try to remember: In this instant there are no obstacles.  It is important for me to keep moving forward, even in moments or times in my life where the reality I thought would be, became completely out of my control.  This is where my own creative energy and resilience launches into action to help cope and problem solve on next steps and where to go next.  Making art helps with this process- becoming a blueprint or map for me to find my way.

Check out this meditation article about Creativity and Obstacles.

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