A Shield for You

Art can be used in so many different ways to create therapeutic child life interventions. (In fact, art and medical play are often fused together for double the therapeutic value, but that’s another post.) Art can invoke many different emotions, serving as a reminder of a thought, intent, memory, and so forth.

Today, the idea is to create something that evokes a feeling of strength or protection, depending on the individuals’ desires. By utilizing a shield-shaped background, participants glue a collage of pictures that they feel embodies strength or protection from their point of view. The key to this activity is having a variety of magazines, anything from Home and Garden to Sports Illustrated to Highlights. The more variety, the easier it is for participants to find the pictures that they identify with. For the “recipe” of the activity, scroll down to the bottom. And feel free to post comments or questions!

You will need sturdy paper to create the back of the shield, cardboard works best, but card stock or construction paper could also be used. Cut a shape of the shield on the paper. A basic shape works (circle or square) or if you want to get fancy, you can try one of these templates:
Shield Template 1 Shield Template 2

Once the participants choose their shapes, have them go through the magazines and pick out pictures, words, or even backgrounds that they feel represent strength or protection, depending on which type of shield each participant wants to do. Some many feel that they find more pictures and words that represent one feeling over the other, so it’s okay to be figuring it out as you go along.

Here is an example of what the finished product could look like:
Shield Collage

Shield Collage Activity Notes

Age Group: Ages 3 and up

Materials needed: Cardboard or Card stock, Magazines or other pictures, Glue, Scissors,

Goals:
To allow patients a creative outlet
To create a representation of what makes them feel safe and/or strong

Therapeutic value of activity:
Empowerment
Creativity

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