I love my art cart. It’s filled with wonderful things, and I just keep adding more. I wear this apron so patients know that I’m an artist and not here to poke or prod or ask medical questions.
No matter a patient’s age or ability or language, I can find an art project we can do together. When I first go into a room, I try to quickly size up what’s going on and then offer a few different things that might work. With some of the older kids, I’ll suggest cartooning or making flip-books.
No one said ‘no’ to art today!
Art starts out as a great distraction, but once a patient becomes interested, it’s more about the experience. Kids love learning something new, and I love exposing them to something they wouldn’t normally be exposed to. That’s the teacher in me. I retired early as a public school art teacher to work here. I love it.
I try to involve the whole family, because art can be therapeutic for everyone in the room. I saw a patient last week that couldn’t use her hands. I put two markers in her hands, that way one hand could mirror the other and both could become stronger. Her mother told me it was great occupational therapy, even though that wasn’t my goal. Yay for art!