Art projects can be a great team-building activity, and a great stress-buster too. They can be used in a wide range of settings, making a positive addition to workplace training programmes, and encourage creativity in problem solving and project management exercises.
I am part of a wide network of artists and creative groups and Mean Feet Dance are one organisation I have had the pleasure of working with. They provide dance and arts activities, supporting local communities and people with mental health conditions to get more physically active and learn ways to express themselves with confidence and creativity. I was a participant in one of their training courses to teach Volunteer Arts leaders to set up and run their own community classes and groups.
Feetfest- Working Together
On a wet July Saturday afternoon in July 2017, some of the graduates from this course came together to share what we had learned and give something back, by running classes at ‘Feetfest’ : a celebration of all things creative.
My activity was to run a summer bouquet workshop, helping families work together to make beautiful tissue paper flowers. This activity could be used in a range of settings as it uses low cost materials (pipe cleaners, scissors and tissue paper squares) and could be used to introduce wider concepts of colour, shape and botanic learning as well. In a matter of minutes, with simple instructions, all the participants had managed to create their own bouquet, and their pleasure at achieving this was so rewarding to watch.
The 90 minutes flew by, and with some colouring and other craft activities set up for the younger children so that parents could try their hand or help older children, this was a really enjoyable, inclusive activity to run. The look of delight on the children’s faces when they proudly held aloft their bouquets, hairbands, bracelets, corsages and rings made as gifts for family members was a joy to behold.
After clearing away my workshop I had a wonderful afternoon taking part in the other classes run by fellow graduates; a classical guitar masterclass, and a ‘Fantasy faces’ watercolour class. I sadly missed the silversmith skills class and creative writing workshop, but came away feeling so privileged to work with such creative and talented people.
Why not tune into your inner artist and try some yourself? You can find the instructions for the paper flowers here
Ann Diment, CFIOSH, MISTR, MIIRSM, Associate CIEH