In the Davies family, 5-year old Laura and 4-year old Sammy aren’t often on the same page. “Laura is so much more advanced” said Theresa Davies, their mom. “And with Sammy’s autism, he plays by himself more than with Laura.”
Thanks to a program called the Magic Paintbrush Project at the Pieters Family Life Center, the whole family enjoyed squirting their feet with paint and adding color after color to a floor-sized tarp. “A lot of times my daughter feels left out,” Davies said. They often spend time at classes that serve Sammy so, “it was really nice to do something like this as a family.”
The Magic Paintbrush Project began in Binghamton with a family trying to find art activities that everyone could enjoy regardless of abilities. Since then, the project has grown to serve more than 14,000 people, many of whom have disabilities. In a typical workshop, participants might roll a paint-covered ball over paper or user their hands and feet to draw- all while practicing new skills and enjoying time with family members and friends.
“When a daughter is squirting glitter paint at her mom as they both giggle, you would never know that the daughter is working toward a goal of increasing her range of motion,” said Sara Corona, an art therapist at the Life Center who is a trained to facilitate Magic Paintbrush sessions. “Both feel a sense of pride at the finished canvas painting they both created as they ‘played’ in the paint.”
Plus, Corona added, participants take away a sense of family cohesion. They feel like they’ve succeeded at reaching their goals. And they laugh a lot.
For more information about the Magic Paintbrush Project at the Pieters Family Life Center, contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need more information about our Magic Paintbrush program?Download the brochure HERE.
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The Magic Paintbrush Project
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