Yes we did it! With a Me to We approach!

It was a long relenting cold winter  in 2014 but in spite of the challenging driving conditions we managed to launch the Creative Art Adventures Club in the middle of winter with 4 families participating. The children came with their parent or their support worker who participated with them throughout the experience, sharing the storytelling, clay modelling, drawing, and painting.
A wonderful volunteer, Lea D. stepped in wherever a helping hand was needed; with registration, setting up the space, or surprising us with a beautiful colorful banner to hang up in the hall.
When the spring finally came, ‘me’ became a ‘we’ as 2 student volunteers joined us, Jasmine and Gabrielle, from Rosseau Lake College, as well as Nicolas from B.M.L.S.S. who assisted with many aspects of setting up the room and providing a gentle pillar of support for the small boys. Hooray we did it!

Portrait-LeaDLea Dooley

 

ClubMay3

 

 

 

 

 

Nicolas D. NicolasSettingUp

Jasmine G.

Jasmine&Coconut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Creative Art Adventures Club

We held our first Creative Art Adventures this last Saturday November 16th,
in the Raymond Community Hall. A… came early to help set up a creative space.

We had great fun with everyone participating.
I introduced the Rabbit Dance Story with the drum.
It was a mild, sunny afternoon so we were able to go outdoors to explore the
grounds – S……. first noticed 8 turkeys grazing in the field next door.
K… discovered tiny bugs close to the ground – he drew a picture of a small
caterpillar on a branch. We picked milkweeds and noticed all the interior details of the pod and how the seeds are carried in the wind.
We played with clay and combined clay with granite stones.
S……. wanted to share 3 songs from The Island Princess before leaving.

We will be holding a Creative Art Adventures Club this winter 2014 on 6 Saturday afternoons starting at 1:30  until 3:00 pm.
This is a new social learning opportunity for families who have
exceptional children ages 5 to 11 with autism and or FASD or LD.

Participants will explore a variety of creative mediums to facilitate self expression in a fun supportive atmosphere.
Email Carla O’Neill, dcmsoneill@bell.net to register in advance.

Clay-16th

Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?

We are currently conducting a survey. Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?

Would you want a place available in Muskoka, Ontario, to bring your exceptional child on the autism spectrum where they feel accepted and inspired to learn?

The Purpose of this Survey is to learn:

1.  If you would be interested in bringing your exceptional child or student to this community space.

2.  Where exactly in Muskoka you would like this community space to be built.

We value your feedback, and would appreciate if you took a few moments to respond to 10 questions AND write down any specific concerns or questions.

Here is the link to the survey on Surveymonkey.com

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PZVV2BV

What's Happening Update 25 February 2013

What’s Happening ~ Update re Survey ‘Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?’ 

So far 14 parents and teachers have responded  to the 10 questions.

Q1.  89% responded Yes they are interested in having a place like this in Muskoka

Q2.  14% are willing to travel up to one hour to get to this community space; 29% are willing to travel up to 45 minutes and 57% are willing to travel no more than 30 minutes

Q3 & Q4.  75% would prefer it to be located West of the Town of Huntsville; 12.5% East of Huntsville;  12.5% would prefer north of Rosseau village and

37 % had a variety of other suggestions based on proximity to their community.

Q5.  50% preferred it to be located on a small lake; 16.6% with streams and a pond; 16.6% wanted no waterfront of any kind.  One commented “Water is nice, land is also nice, as long as there’s a healthy nature element.”

Q6.  What would parents like to do after they drop off their child?  25% meet with other parents for support; 25% have a bite to eat; 12.5% receive a massage or Reiki; 25% go for a walk or a swim;  25%  go into town to go shopping;  25% rest in a quiet reading room

62.5% chose all of the above

Q7.  65% are interested in volunteering in their area of passion

Q8.  50% said Classes September till June;  33% May long weekend until Thanksgiving; 16% all year long; 0% summer only

Q9.  57% preferred classes on Saturdays; 42% after school and 15% during school hours

Q10.  One of the mother’s Comments was, “I really like where this is going.  I think it would be really special to have something of this nature available to exceptional kids!”

Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?

We are currently conducting a survey. Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?

Would you want a place available in Muskoka, Ontario, to bring your exceptional child on the autism spectrum where they feel accepted and inspired to learn?

The Purpose of this Survey is to learn:

1.  If you would be interested in bringing your exceptional child or student to this community space.

2.  Where exactly in Muskoka you would like this community space to be built.

We value your feedback, and would appreciate if you took a few moments to respond to 10 questions AND write down any specific concerns or questions.

Here is the link to the survey on Surveymonkey.com

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PZVV2BV

Making Learning Fun for Teaching Children with Autism is Key

Caroline’s Commentary:

Here is some great practical advice from a father of a girl with Autism, Henry Bee.

1.  Set up a safe learning space or ‘Therapy Room’

2.  Enter their world

3.  One on one learning sessions

4.  Interactive Computer based aids

5.  Do things children love doing with them

How do you make learning fun for your child or student?  Please share or comment below.

 

The Five Best Teaching Aids for Children With Autism and Special Needs by Henry Bee

We have had over ten years experience with tutoring and teaching our daughter with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Below is some of the Teaching Aids we used that we think were the most successful in her development and learning. These methods can be used with any child with or without an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pervasive Development Disorder or Special Needs.

Teaching Aid 1 – Setting up a Therapy Room
In the beginning what got us going was the SON RISE program. Liz went to America to the Option Institute and did a two week course on how to cope with a child with Autism, methods for working with and tutoring a child with Autism and how to set up a therapy room for a tutoring a child with Autism and or Special Needs.

The course is not just for Parents of children with Autism, but also for children with Learning Difficulties, Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD) and children with Special Needs in general. The course also focusses a great deal on how to deal on an emotional level with the fact that your child has an intellectual disability, and there is ongoing support if you so wish.

So on Liz’s arrival back home we set up a therapy room. We used a spare bedroom and painted it in bright colours. We set it up with shelves and storage drawers, play equipment, a computer and printer, a suitable child’s height table and chairs for table top work and a sturdy floor covering. The basic idea was to have a room the child can identify with as a learning and fun area only, somewhere that they will in time know that when they are in there it is time to learn. Continue reading “Making Learning Fun for Teaching Children with Autism is Key”

Mural Painting at the Kaleidoscope Children's Festival 2012

Children of all ages and abilities had great fun painting together this past Saturday at the Kaleidoscope Children’s Festival at Play World,Clevelands House in Minett.  I gave them the freedom to paint large using wide brushes all along a fence outdoors in the fresh clean air in the shade.  ‘We want to do this every weekend!’ some of them said.

Have you tried this with your children yet?

How did it go and how did they respond?

It’s easy – give it a go!

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PTHqbgLXxg&feature=em-share_video_user

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manifesting the Vision /TREE of LIFE CENTRE for CREATIVITY by Caroline F. Butson

Manifesting the Vision for the new TREE of LIFE CENTRE for CREATIVITY by Caroline F. Butson

The Tree of Life Centre for Creativity, founded by Caroline Butson in 2006 was born out of Caroline’s dreams and those of her circle of family, friends, students and supporters.  We all shared a common dream of creating a living learning centre that would be a wellspring of inspiration, creativity, learning and healing.  It has been a place of peace where people of all backgrounds, cultures, spiritual paths, and ages come together and grow.  The Centre was built around Caroline’s journey to wellness and her vision to build a learning centre for children within the autism spectrum.

The Tree of Life Centre for Creativity has thrived and is now ready to expand!  This new growth will reflect the collective thought of those involved in this project.  To breathe life into this vision will take the efforts and contributions of a collection of  individuals and organizations as well as the children and families who have been participating over the past few years.  The proposal lays out four clear and specific pathways by which the community can contribute in a meaningful way: the pathway to the land, the pathway to the infrastructure, the pathway to the structures of the new Tree of Life Centre for Creativity and the artist’s residence and the pathway to the people.  In order to hold our program in a fun, safe, inspirational environment, we want to build a simple, sustainable, comfortable year round Centre in 2014.

Please visit http://www.tlc4.ca to read further on the Centre’s Mission and Caroline’s background.

Creativity in Children – 3 Ways to Boost Your Child's Creative Intelligence By Joanne Froh

Caroline’s Commentary;
This is a great article by Joanne Froh which gives you 3 easy things you can do to help your child develop creative intelligence.
1.  Select creative toys that stimulate the child to figure it out for themselves.
2.  Set up a creative space in your home.
3.  Allow time during the day with nothing to do and nothing scheduled.

Try these 3 simple things and see what happens….Caroline

Creativity in Children – 3 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Creative Intelligence  By Joanne Froh

All babies are born with the ability to think creatively, that’s a given. But what we do as parents can either help or hinder this ability to flourish in our children as they grow. And flourish it must! For creativity and imagination are much more than artistic expression and play. They are the tools used to form mental images and thoughts of what has never been actually experienced. And for kids, that means just about everything!

Imagination, daydreams, games of make-believe. These are the cornerstones of curiosity, intellectual inventiveness, and ambition. And they are the tools kids use to tryout different scenarios — explore the what-ifs before they act, which in turn allows them to foresee consequences and make good choices. Vital in today’s world.

But as natural as it is, creativity is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing. If not exercised on a regular basis, it tends to fade; become harder to tap into. As adults running the rat race, we know this to be true. And when you consider the busy, technology-filled lives of today’s children — with everything coming “at” them rather than from within them — you realize what little workout their imaginations are getting.

However, all is not lost. As a parent, there are several things you can do to intercede, slow things down, and allow your child to exercise and strengthen their creative capacity. None are complicated or expensive, but they will require a certain stick-to-it-ness when it comes to tuning-out the inevitable: There’s nothing to do! refrain. But rest assured, employing even just one or two of these tactics is well worth the effort.

So here are three things you can do now to boost your child’s creative intelligence:

Limit the number of toys that depend upon following step-by-step instructions
Instead, focus on those with open-ended purpose. For instance, when selecting Lego’s or Tinker Toys, go for the original collection of random pieces rather than the kits predestined to become something specific. Although the picture on the box may be cool and enticing (Johnny loves pirates!), it is the process of figuring out — through trial, error, and visualization — how to make something from nothing that exercises the imagination and strengthens problem-solving skills. Besides, for most people, there’s more joy and pride in realizing one’s own vision than replicating someone else’s.

Put out the crayons and leave them out
Ask any artist and they’ll tell you: having a studio, a place to create art where you don’t need to haul things out or clean-up afterward, is practically essential. Why? Because out of sight is out of mind, and the prospect of having to put things away when you’re done is often enough to stop a creative urge in its tracks.

So find a corner, preferably a low coffee table so the kids can sit on the floor. And on that table, leave out crayons, pencils and a big stack of blank paper. Ideally this should be in the room where the family gathers, where children spend most of their time. That way, drawing will become as spontaneous as any other form of entertainment. No need to make a big project of it. Ten minutes here, a half-hour there. The length is not important, nor is the quality of the output. The point is to make the tools of creative expression visible and enticing; so they beacon to your child from across the room. And to make satisfying their urge easy. No permission needed, no clean-up required.

Limit the visual entertainment and let their mind be still Continue reading “Creativity in Children – 3 Ways to Boost Your Child's Creative Intelligence By Joanne Froh”

How to Encourage Creative Thinking in Children Using Visual Art Supplies by Anne Ream

I chose this article by Anne Ream because I agree with what she is saying here.  I believe everyone is born with creative abilities and children need lots of encouragement and praise from adults to develop their innate creativity.  I have found that many adults who do not recognize this creativity in themselves, lost their confidence and creative skills at some point in their childhood or youth possibly from negative feedback or criticism.  If this is so for you do not lose hope it is always possible to get back in touch with your creativity.  In my own experience I failed art in grade school which resulted in me having to get back to it later on in my life.   Your child or student can help you reconnect with your innate creativity.  I encourage you to try drawing and painting along with your child.  The important thing is to let go of your inner critic and just have fun with the experience without trying to make something look realistic or perfect.  Children naturally love to draw and play with clay.  All they need is your positive feedback and for you to set some time aside regularly and create a creative space in your home or classroom.  I know you can do it!   ….Caroline

Drawing by Evan of Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle

Drawing by Evan May '10


 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Encourage Creative Thinking in Children Using Visual Art Supplies by Anne Ream

I have a firm belief that everyone is born with creative abilities. My experience is that many people who are not aware of their creative abilities do not understand what creativity is. Unfortunately many people were not encouraged to develop their creative abilities when they were children. This is one way to encourage creative thinking in your child.

Recognizing, developing and using our creative abilities is vital. Being able to stretch our thinking to include creative solutions to our problems, creates new brain cells, increases our choices and enhances our coping skills. The best time to learn creative thinking is during our childhood while our brains are growing. Any adult who is involved with children (parents, teachers, Scout leaders) can help children raise their creativity skills.

Coloring books and “cookie-cutter” art (the type of art in which every child makes the same item) discourage creativity. Although coloring books have a time and purpose, when a child is coloring in someone else’s creation they are not learning how to create something themselves. There is also a purpose for “cookie cutter” art, however, when doing this the child is learning to follow directions from someone else. Genuine creativity is self directed.

The most important step is to understand the developmental stages of drawing. Unnecessary criticism from adults diminishes a child’s ability to grow creatively. When adults respond negatively to children they will be less likely to repeat the activity. Children begin to enjoy drawing by the time they are old enough to hold a marker and will scribble with the marker. Markers are easier for toddlers to use than crayons and safer than pencils. Adult supervision is necessary to make sure the child draws on paper and does not put the marker in their mouth. A gentle reminder that markers are used on paper will generally suffice. If a child cannot comply with this, put the markers away and try again later. Toddlers enjoy learning to control the marker and are beginning to learn about creativity as they create marks on paper. Praising children for their work (“Look at what you can do!”) and putting the work on display will encourage them to continue their efforts.

Gradually, around three to four years of age children realize that lines and shapes actually stand for something and they begin to try to make deliberate representations. It is important to encourage children to continue to explore what they can do with markers and never criticize or change their drawing. Around the age of four children begin to make pictures. Adults can encourage this by recognizing the growth the child has made and expressing their appreciation of it. During this time children will enter a stage called “Named Scribbling” in which they will look at something they have drawn, see a shape that looks like “a bird” or “a frog” and name the scribble as such. Again it is vital to appreciate this creative ability in the child in order to encourage creative growth.

From the age of 9 to about 12 years old children begin to try to make their drawings more realistic. It becomes important to them to try to make their drawings more proportional, to fill the drawing with details, make colors more realistic and learn how to overlap. At this stage children begin to feel frustrated and may ask adults for more help. Those children who have not received adult encouragement may stop drawing. If children do seem interested in being able to draw this is a good time for them to receive some drawing instruction. Drawing is a learned skill. Continue reading “How to Encourage Creative Thinking in Children Using Visual Art Supplies by Anne Ream”