During our one to one nature art therapy sessions – I have the privilege of playing and creating, learning and growing with this beautiful child. Elise is one of my special needs students that I am working with this year. I cannot express the joy she is gifting me as we get creative with nature.
Playful Sensory Experiences
Yesterday, our first part of the session is spent down at the lake. We notice how much cooler it is today than last week and how some trees have changed colour.
Over the coming months, I will be returning to the lake, forest and garden with Elise. I would like her to experience these incredibly (therapeutic) nurturing and inspiring environments, and what delightful creatures, birds and insects inhabit the local landscapes through playful, creative exploration. Allowing Elise to learn at her own pace, through nature play.
Explore and Touch
The water is cold. We go in search of driftwood to make our fishing rods; and pebbles for some rock art. We feel the different textures of the wood and rocks.
I bring along a large piece of black card and invite Elise to hunt for white pebbles of any size she likes. She happily hunts and collects, handing me some of the pebbles to carry.
Sitting down, I invite her to create a picture of herself (face) using the rocks. We discuss the shape of her face and she proceeds to create a perfect circle without any guidelines.
She began with the smaller pebbles for the base of her head and used the larger pebbles to form the top of her (head) circle – I thought this was incredibly clever!
We sit at the lake.
We listen to the water and look for fish. We imagine what sound the fish would make when they leap out the water – Splash! Plop! We explore these sounds by throwing in different sized rocks.
Here are a few of the activities involved in making the rods:
- Hunting for a piece of driftwood
- Collecting water from the lake to paint with (we collect water using several containers)
- Mixing the powder paint (Elise mixes the powder (earth) paint with the water she collects
- Paining the fishing rods
We then head back up to the garden to complete our fishing rods by adding our line and hook.
We then go fishing for leaves and anything else her rod can catch (she catches a few mushrooms)
This beautiful child amazes me, she suffers from a rare neurological disorder – Subcortical Band Heterotopia, as well Epilepsy and mild autism and yet, here she is catching mushrooms with her fishing rod – making my heart sing.
Clay offers yet another sensory experience – I love working with clay and knew Elise would enjoy this activity too. Staying with fish, I invite her to make a clay fish.
First, we hunt for scales and fins
we find pine cone seeds and also use wooden beads and sequin
Rolling out the clay
Cutting the fish shape out of the clay
Creating patterns on the fish
Large Cardboard Fish
We create one more fish during our session – we chose pastels to use for the cardboard fish, it offers Elise an opportunity to explore the texture of the cardboard. Pastels are great for smuging and merging colours together.
Elise turns the oil pastel crayon on its side so she can cover more of the surface with each rubbing.
We then hunt for fallen leaves to use for the fish scales. Elise giggles as she glues.
Once the cardboard fish is finished, Elise picks it up and asks me if the clay fish would like to go for a swim
and off we swim..
Such a delightful way to end the session.
Full of gratitude, I truly love my work, I continue to learn from these amazing children and feel honored to have been gifted this sacred journey .
Wishing everyone a beautiful and creative weekend, with love Marghanita x
Elise is one of the special needs students I have the privilege of working with this year. You can follow our journey here: Nature Art Therapy. If you would like to learn more about our Nature Art Program please visit NATURE ART