For about ten years I have been working as an expressive arts therapist in school settings with individual children. I have had the privilege of offering support to children through the use of an assortment of art media high in sensory engagement (paints, clay, movement, sand and water play, collage, doodling, rhythm instruments and anything useful at hand). I have worked with students to assist them as they turn these artworks into stories and poems which they collected and transformed into their very own book.
So, here I am putting this booklet together to help me process the in-between/unknown state in which I find myself during these days of staying safe, calm and kind during the COVID-19 pandemic. I really miss coming alongside children one to one as they explored their creativity. I have included some of my own Colourful Me poems that have helped me stay in touch with my creative process. I hope by sharing a little of the open ended, creative exercises I have used to bring out the curiosity, wonder and resilience in children, I can join with each one of you in making the world a better place. These exercises are intended for younger children to explore with their parents, teachers or a caring adult. I trust that older, or more skilled readers will find their unique way through my wordiness as well.
I am so grateful and blessed to be alive! Please join me in the … grainy, greenly Gracious, / giving life a second chance/with a hop and a skip and a- JUMP!”
-Kim Balke, Expressive Arts Therapist