Thursday, September 12, 2013
Drawing with the girls
I have found an activity that, surprisingly, is one of the most successful with my girls at the institute. As many readers know, I have been making bracelets for over a year now, almost every Monday. What helps is that several girls come and go, and so there is almost always someone willing to learn, while many of the others work on advancing their skills.
But sometimes, they just don't want to, and to be honest, I can understand that.
I have mixed things up a bit with my other visiting days. On Wednesday, I try to bring a different craft. On Friday, weather permitting, we go for a walk, or perhaps we remain indoors to play cards. I have tried new forms of bracelets. Some with a different material. The girls learn them quickly, but then can't seem to always sell what they make, which can be discouraging.
Then one day, I looked around my room and found some paper and looked for a simple drawing. To avoid printing, I free-handed. Then when we were all gathered in the institute, I showed it to them, asking if they would like to color. I bought two packs of colored pencils just in case two wanted to use the same color. I bought a ream of paper to have a fairly inexhaustible paper supply.
For a month now, I've found that these young teens love to color, and sometimes the most simple of objects. Take this bear that I prepared for them this Wednesday. As an extra, and perhaps Spirit inspired, I added part of Psalms 13:5 to the blank space. Once again the girls gasped in excitement. "How cute!" they said, and many made more than one copy.
One of the girls talked about how she has a Bible and plans on reading more of the verses from Psalms.
These are small ways conversation can open to deeper things. To be honest, it's a constant struggle, but I am constantly encouraged by the simple things that make them happy. I had, after all, tried a couple of basic art classes, but to no avail. Not everyone likes to draw, and the attention spans of many of the girls is lacking.
Perhaps it's because with coloring, you don't have to think as much. You just fill in the page with your favorite hues. And maybe that's the key. These girls have had it hard enough. They don't want to think anymore about the reasons why they are in the institute to begin with.
Just hypothesizing. love and chau!