It has started to get chilly and dark for sessions down at the barn. Although I don’t think of myself as a creative person, I have had to get creative to find activities for volunteers to do with their stable mates! I was trying to settle on some arts and crafts activities that would still work towards each participant’s individual plan of care goals. So here are a couple ideas we are doing at the barn and why they have particular meaning for foster and adopted children. Allowing children in the program to paint a rock that stays on the property gives them a sense of ownership. A rock with their individual art displayed in our Stone garden uplifts self-worth, builds identity and provides a sense of purpose within the program. This is a feeling of “I matter,” which foster and adopted children need to feel so desperately. We encourage children to take on larger projects, developing their significant place as a Stable Moments participant. We utilize their strengths to build them up and promote their worth. If a child is good at or enjoys digging, we may suggest they plant a tree or garden during their sessions. Not only does this address many children’s sensory needs but their contribution to the property is always acknowledged as something we couldn’t have done without their specific talents!
I know, it seems cliché but things like ornaments have added meaning for foster and adopted children. Allowing them to have something of theirs on the family tree gives them a sense of belonging. We are having kiddos make ornaments that they can have here at Stable Moments or take home. If you do this at home, doing it as a family is great so everyone has their own, and can display their individual creativity. The ornaments can represent a child’s particular interest, such as horses or soccer. This way, you’re fostering their individuality, building their identity and developing their sense of belonging. Quite literally “they have a place.” Something they need to always be reminded of! Focus on any activity that gives foster or adopted children a tangible symbol of their place in your family. Help them develop their foster or adoption story through the arts, crafts and projects they contribute to your home.
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