The autonomous gaining of experiences, which can be achieved with all the senses is something fundamental for children and is becoming less and less achievable in our highly structured, highly developed world. In an age in which technologies and daily stimuli are continuously increasing due to audiovisual media, many children lack the space and opportunities to play and express themselves. Their daily routine is often associated with a hectic pace and they are already exposed to competition, pressure to perform and certain expected behaviour at an early stage in life.
Painting and handicrafts can prevent and counteract all of this within a non-judgmental environment – as provided in the calm and secure atmosphere of the Nuori Malspielraum. It is a wonderful opportunity for children to relax and discover themselves in terms of recharging their batteries. The purpose of painting here is therefore to maintain health in general terms as well as to simply feel joy.
HOW IT WORKS
The children can indulge in painting and handicrafts without being under pressure to perform or follow set instructions, each one at his or her own pace. This process enables children to express themselves freely with colours and various materials. As such there are no assessments, directives, comparisons and judgements; the resulting objects and images are not psychologically interpreted or understood or evaluated based on aesthetic criteria. With carefree trial and error children can develop their creativity, find their personal mode of expression and learn to have confidence in themselves and their abilities.
This method of «Begleitetes Malen», which I work with as an art therapist, strengthens personality and emotional resilience. It promotes stamina, perceptiveness and concentration. At the same time it trains the gross and fine motor skills along the way.
Children can do far more than just develop their creativity: painting contributes a great deal to improving conflict resolution and solving problems and thus also supports their independence and personal responsibility.
This is because when painting over a longer period, new positive experiences can be developed. The changes that occur in the process also show their effect beyond the atelier.
In the Nuori Malspielraum children meet in small groups to paint and do handicrafts together, to listen to stories and playfully sharpen their perceptions and senses – inside or out in the colourful garden.
A huge selection of paint-pots and brushes invites children to have some hands-on fun with painting. The stimulating materials and implements are of high quality and carefully selected based on functional, aesthetic and educational criteria.
The painting, play and craft courses and the midday studio session take place once a week. There are also workshops during school holidays and on Saturdays. Painting therapy can be arranged individually.
I also work with kindergartens, schools and other institutions, whether it be for individual projects, holiday and educational recreational courses or to accompany children over a longer period.