Yesterday I volunteered at the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force’s event “Speak Up When You’re Down”. This event for low income families was in honor of Maternal Health Awareness Month and Mother’s Day 2013. I decided to educate families on how to use art as a tool for attachment and bonding. Art not only helps minimize anxiety and depression, but it’s also a great self care tool for moms; since many children sit and focus while making art. I provided supplies for children and their parents to make a Thaumatrope. A Thaumatrope is a disk or card with a picture on each side, either side can be attached to a string, or a stick can be attached on the bottom. When the image is twirled quickly the two pictures appear to combine into a single image. With the stamps and markers I provided, the older kids made some creative Thaumatropes and the younger kids had a ton of fun drawing and stamping. Creating a Thaumatrope with your child creates a great opportunity to talk about change, perception, and possibility. Parents can use the metaphor within this project to talk to their children about ideas such as: things are not always as they seem, by changing one thing you can see a whole situation differently, or take a step back and view a whole situation before making a decision or conclusion. This project concretizes these difficult concepts for children, making them more understandable and interesting! Following the pictures there is a supply list and directions for the activity.
What you need:
A round stick, such as a chopstick (I prefer this to string since it is easier)
A circle cut out of heavier paper and big enough to make an image but not too big that it flops around (a circle 4.75″ in diameter is a good size).
Drawing materials (and you can add stamps like I did).
Have your child draw two images on each side. When they are done tape on the stick (make sure they leave room in their drawing so nothing gets covered), then spin away. Hope this activity inspires you to use art to bond, learn, and communicate with your child.