It has been great to see the children as well as staff and volunteers to join in and enjoy crafty activities – second week brought in mindful fun as well as hammer banging art noises.
We started with a reshuffle of the store room in the Drop In Centre – that was very satisfying. We rediscovered colouring pens and other arty tools which will allow us to put more colour into the space. Pieces of children’s art had also been kept here and we can now put them on display so that other children can get inspired. And we have enough to decorate both the classroom and the office.
I started working on the big ‘Welcome to S.A.L.V.E.’ sign which will be done in string art – I will create a lot of noise with this work – literally. And since I am doing it in the office I thought it better be done bit by bit. Outdoor wood sawing and nail hammering can be done in longer stretches – I have managed to stick to it for most of Thursday. This means the wood is in right size pieces and some of the panels are ready to get sanding treatment from the kids.
Meanwhile on the land…
I thoroughly enjoyed going through the library and reshuffling books onto different shelves according to topic and type. The sessions with children have been (unsurprisingly) even more fun. We had a great afternoon session with making gradually more and more complicated paper planes and created a whole fleet of them. While constructing them, we were talking about our aspirations, as well as about where we would fly, who with, and why. We are aiming high!
A mindful walk was the next activity and I was really curious to see whether the children would enjoy a bit of reflection and slowing down. Together we managed to come up with lots of fun activities alongside the trail around the land site – from draining our brains by shaking the worries out of our heads, to doing a silly slow motion walk on the wall by the half-way house. From playing imaginary football, to reflecting on who offers protection and support to us, and being grateful under the mango tree. Now that it has the children’s seal of approval I will work on making it a nice and neat map with instructions so that everyone can make use of it – whether they need to energise on unwind.
Our work on the training day continued as well – I did a draft outline of the day – schedule, content, different roles each of us will have. Now the local team will have a go at feedback to make sure it is as relevant and as useful as possible. Additionally, my collection of plastic bottles has been growing steadily, which is a good sign.
The only slightly unsuccessful aspect of the week was a stab in my hand which I managed to perform with my massive scissors while practicing for the car bottle session. This means that we will be making the cars out of card. On the bright side, we can write on the card and we can use the session to expand our English vocabulary as well as consider our motivation to act to make change happen – we will create our own ‘vehicles of change’.
I finished my second week with leading a reflective exercise at the staff meeting and with subtle yarn bombing of the main hall on the land. Could there be anything more exciting for an aspiring mindful crafter? I think next week will see a lot of the multi-coloured cotton threads, which came with me in a biscuit tin, used up.