Sunday, December 19, 2010

Even more holiday projects...

I found another cute holiday project that I thought would be another fun one with just the right tweaking! Take a look at the picture. It's a handprint Christmas tree.

Why did I think this would be a great project? It's another project that would be a great sensory activity especially for our children who thrive on sensory activities. Art can be fun for children with vision impairments, you just need to know how to make the accomodations!

A little sensory in the mix...
Let's break it down: add sand, glitter or another texture to the paint for the hand print. One idea I had was to actually go to a Christmas tree and pluck of some needles and mix those in the paint, too. The pine needles have a great scent, feel nice on your hand and when they come from the Christmas tree, add a great connection to what they are actually going to paint.

Use a paintbrush and brush the paint onto your childs' hand. You can also use a roller. Your child may like the paint cold (throw it in the freezer for a bit right before the activity) or warm (same thing as the cold, a little warmth is soothing). When brushing, use long strokes (spice it up by adding some pressure while doing it).

For tactual defense issues....
Make the handprints but then remember to let your child get messy if they want. Let them ooze the paint between their fingers if they like! If they are resistant to the paint first, ease them into it by letting them paint yours first or letting them paint their own hands. Don't force your child but be firm about having them be involved. I like to have them touch it for at least 3-5 seconds and then gradually increase the time until they get comfortable. If they still don't want to do it, keep it hand under hand and let them do something. I have always found that if I just start doing a project right next to my students, they eventually get interested and start creeping their hands into what I am doing. Let them lead to tell you when they are ready.

Visual needs...
Use the colors that work best for your child. For example, pick a shiny red back drop for our CVI kiddos. Strong contrast always works best. When you use green, discuss with your child that Christmas trees are green and that's why we use green. Watch out for background clutter, keep your materials simple and organized. Make sure you use a defined work space!

Use puff paint to write your childs' name and the year on it. I also think it would be fun to write their name in Braille on it, too with puff paint!

For my Jewish friends...
I thought about this for a second and thought you could make a finger print Menorah.

My little disclaimer: I don't know if this is offensive to my Jewish friends so please no offense is intended. I thought you could use a Menorah clipart but then use your fingers as the candles. As with the handprints, you can paint your finger and make the print of the candle. Then I thought you could use your thumb print as the flame (white paint for the candle, yellow paint for the flame). Not sure if it will work but it was an idea!

I'll keep my eye out for more projects!

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