Have you considered using arts and crafts as a technique to liven up your training sessions? Here as a training resource for you, under the headings of Description, This Activity Can Be Used To, Facilitator’s Process, Guidelines for Facilitators, Guidelines for Participants, Pitfalls, Hot Tricks and Variations.
Arts and crafts are works produced by participants using imagination and skill.
This Activity Can Be Used To:
- Make a spiritual or emotional connection.
- Address a topic from a new perspective.
- Stimulate the right brain.
- Demonstrate a skill.
- Produce solutions to problems.
- Relax or reflect.
- Communicate feelings.
- Visualize an idea or concept.
- Explore a subject in a creative or interpretative way.
- Produce various outputs: sculpture, music, models, camp crafts, food, dance, etc.
1. Organize the materials the group will need to complete the project.
2. Pre-assess the group to determine what participants already know about the subject.
3. Share the purpose and objectives of the activity with the group.
4. Choose a theme or topic for people to focus on, if desired.
5. Explain the procedure:
- Obtain the supplies.
- Work on the project.
- Debrief the activity.
6. Announce the duration of the session, if applicable.
7. Ask for and answer any questions regarding the procedure.
8. Distribute the supplies.
9. Start the activity.
10. Circulate and monitor.
11. Tell the participants when there is one or two minutes left in the activity and remind them to choose a presenter, if necessary.
12. End the activity.
13. Debrief the session.
14. Summarize the session by recapping the main points.
15. Wrap up with a review of the learning objectives, if appropriate.
16. Conduct a post-assessment to determine what learning occurred.
Guidelines for Facilitators
- Ensure there are adequate supplies.
- If the medium is messy, advise the participants ahead of time to wear old clothes. * Allow enough time to complete the project.
- Invite participants to enjoy themselves.
- Set flexible guidelines to encourage participants to be as creative as possible.
- Encourage participants who have not completed the project to do so afterwards.
Guidelines for Participants
- Have fun!
- Let your imagination run wild.
- Don’t get hung up on technical perfection.
- Get messy.
- Some people do not think they are “artistic” and resist getting creative.
- Individuals work at different speeds, so timing may become a challenge.
- The facilities may not be suitable for the medium you are using.
- Schedule arts and crafts at the end of the day, so those who finish early may go and those who are more into it may work longer.
- Include things such as music, aromas, food, and drinks to stimulate the senses.
- Work outdoors or in a different environment than usual.
- Use unusual media combinations such as sculpting with food.
- Set up various stations around the room with activities that relate to the learning objectives through different media. Ask participants to select the art form that most appeals to them and move to that station.
- When the participants have finished their projects, put them on display and create a gallery for viewing the works. Ask participants to write an artist’s statement about what the piece means to them or ask the other participants how they interpret a piece.
- Have participants create 3D mock-ups or models of larger projects they are working on to help visualize the end result (i.e., landscape, sweat lodge, fashion design, bridge, architecture, boat, totem poles, camp set-up, machinery, etc).
We hope you find this article useful and we look forward to hearing of your successes as you weave arts and crafts into your training sessions.