Working with Pre-Schoolers

Art therapy internship

This semester (spring 2015), I am taking an Art Therapy Internship class at Marywood. It is extremely beneficial because it allows undergraduate students to have hands-on experience in their field. In this class, not only do I have the ability to interact with a vast amount of populations (i.e. daycare children, school age children, hospital patients, prison inmates, and nursing home patients), but also the ability to chose and plan my own personal internship.  For my personal internship opportunity, I chose to visit my high school and work with my pervious studio art teacher. I will be visiting on two different days: the first day will be to observe the population, how the students interact and which art experientials will work best with them. On the second day, I will instruct the students in an art therapy directive I have chosen. Having this great, personalized, infield experience gives Marywood art therapy undergraduate students many advantages; the main advantage, other then ensuring you want to be an art therapist, is knowing with confidence what population you want to work with before you enter graduate school.

My infield EXPERIENCE: working with pre-school children

For IMG_2072my internship, my class went to the daycare center on campus, The Fricchione Center. I was one of the two students in charge of the experiential, meaning I had the responsibility and honor to chose, put together, and direct the experiential for the kids. We chose to make tambourines with the children, trying involve the children’s sensory-motor skills. The children had to decorate and put beads into the pre-folded and pre-tied tambourines. After we made the tambourines, everyone sat in a circle and shook the brightly decorated instruments to music. But no matter how much we planned, the children outsmarted us. You can shake the tambourines as hard as you want and the beads won’t come out, but if you pull the paper plate apart in-between the ties, the beads will fly across the room. IMG_1409 2 I wasn’t aware of this flaw, but the children quickly brought this to my and my classmates attention. My fellow art therapists and I reacted very well and helped tape up the tambourines and pick up the run-away beads. Everyone had a great time, and the unplanned chasing of the beads became the children’s favorite part and one of my greatest learning experiences: you can never plan for the unexpected.

Next week (week of February 15th), I will be visiting a senior center for my art therapy internship and I will be sure to blog about my adventure. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and share any ideas you have about any experientials you think would be good for pre-school children (ages 3-4).

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