Fabric Buttons with Wildflower Home

Hey, everyone. Yesterday with the Wildflower Home we taught them how to make their very own fabric buttons. This is a fairly simple and addictive activity once you figure out all the steps. There were only four women, so we were all pretty laid back and able to chat with each other. The women spent the time talking about their goals and dreams for the future, for example, one of the women plans to attend college and obtain a bachelors degree. Overall it was a very relaxing and productive activity.



Journal Bookbinding

Hi All!

Last weekend we visited Baan Yuu Suk which is run by an organisation called COSA. This was the first time I and the other volunteers were to meet. I didn't know what to expect and was feeling rather nervous especially since it was my project they will be doing. The project was Journal Bookbinding, the girls were to bind their own books which they will use as a journal. The thing that made me nervous was that there was 21 girls at this home……. Aged 5-18!! 
We have done bookbinding at ARI before with the other groups but they were all little books, this project I wanted them to make a book full of pages that would actually last them a good while before they fill it up. 

Considering I had to learn the process of bookbinding myself first (I followed the Coptic stitch bookbinding method), I had no idea how well they will pick up this new skill, and with such a vast age range I was concerned if this projects was appropriate for this group. 
However I still really wanted them to make and have a Journal as its would be psychologically beneficial to them, give them a new skill and would provide and outlet for creativity. 

After a long week preparing the covered and the signatures, including hole punching everything we was finally done, ready and on our way. When we arrived I got even more nervous as I could actually see the massive age difference between the girls, but we got started anyway and we had a good number of volunteers with us to assist. 
When we began to show them how to bind their books, I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) how quickly they were picking the binding up. Everyone understood the task and were making their journals swimmingly. Even more surprising was the speed of some of the younger girls who seemed to finished way ahead of everyone. 

In the end the project was a success and everyone finished their books in time, decorated the covered with fancy paper and used their creativity to really personalise their new diaries. We even provided them with Journal prompts to encourage journalling and to even give them some questions they may have not asked themselves before. 

The girls had fun and so did we, overall a successful workshop.
                                                                 ……Agneta ……


Scaling with the Thai Freedom House

Hello, everyone. This past Friday we continued our Drawing Unit with the Thai Freedom House children. This time we focused on scaling and how to take a small image and make it larger using grids and ratios. To start off they were given a small drawing of an apple and they had to make it twice the size. This was a fairly simple task for most of the children, so they spent some time coloring in their apples as well. There were some pretty neat and very colorful finished products.

After their break I handed out a variety of other, more challenging images for them to scale. Again, they rescaled the image to twice the original size. This time, though, if they finished early, I gave them another, more difficult, image to rescale. There was some very dramatic moaning and protests initially, but they were all able to finish rescaling the harder drawing as well.

The last scaling project took up the rest of the class, and almost all of the children were at least able to complete scaling one more complex drawing, if not two. This coming Friday is their last drawing class before they graduate. It's impressive to see all they've learned about drawing.



Paper Windmills: Taking Advantage of the Weather

Inspired by the blusteriness of the season, we introduced the Young Lions to some of the most fun you can have with a good breeze -- paper windmills, or pinwheels as they are otherwise known. We provided them with pre-cut templates, lines and holes already marked out, so they could focus on making them as bright and colourful as possible. We showed them some examples of patterns and let them get to it.

As soon as they were done, we attached the pinwheels to chopsticks using drawing pins; the workshop leaders did this for the kids. It may be my innate Britishness taking over, but as we were using hammers I balked at the idea of letting the kids have at it themselves. Let's all keep our fingers, please...

There was a lot of fun had with the finished product -- so much so that at the first session, we were kept very busy hammering as the pinwheels were being turned out at a rate of one per thirty seconds!! The second workshop ended with a running-around-the-carpark game, as the kids realised how fast this could make the wheels spin.

Definitely a project to be repeated on windy days.We are seriously considering making a selection of weather-proof windmills to decorate the fence at the office...


Hand and Foot Printing with Hope Home

Hello everyone! Today we visited Hope Home. We were very surprised to see Paradon, who usually is at school at the time we are doing the workshops.

Our project for this week was actually hand or foot printed trees with stamps and bubble blowing during the break. But while we were printing the kid's hands on the paper, we decided to make this more freestyle and ended up with many different pictures who were very creative and colourful.

Even Nam Chok shortly participated at this activity what he usually doesn't do. Even if he was only interested for a very short time, he had a lot of fun doing it. Just like Phil, Joy, Bonroot and Paradon.

Joy enjoing the hand printing.

Bonroot likes his self-made picture.

Paradon busy stamping.

                                                   Here are some of their beautiful Pictures:

Phil's foot prints.
Nam Chok's picture.

Bonroot's self created forest.


Discovering Shapes with Northern School for the Blind

This past Monday was the first workshop at Northern School for the Blind. This school provides education for visually impaired students. As it was our first workshop with a group of blind people, all of us were really excited.

Today’s workshop’s topic: Shapes!

For the fact that they are blind, we did two exercises with them which were based on feeling the shapes with their hands.

Firstly, the students discovered shapes by feeling them and rebuilt them with modeling clay. They got to know geometric shapes and organic shapes. 

Most of the students were really good and fast in copying the shapes, which was really fascinating.

Afterwards each student got a piece of paper and some cardboard shapes. 
They used their fingers to traced each shape with glue and we helped them putting sand or rice on the sticky parts so they could feel the shapes on their papers. 

The students loved playing with the different materials.

At the end of the workshop each student created a really nice paper with different rice or sand shapes.


Magazine and Bottlecap necklaces - Healing Foundation

 We had a fun time creating friendship necklaces !

 It's always a surprise seeing how a simple magazine page rolls into a colorful bead.

 Add a glitter filled bottlecap for some bling ! ! !

Add some beads .......

Then swap with a friend    ( :

How cool is that !

Future goals and aspirations with BEAM

On friday we had a workshop with the BEAM Education Foundation.

Since last time we were talking about their present, we were now focusing on their future goals and aspirations. Therefore we created a game built on the 'Game of Life'. It starts with their graduation of Secondary School and then they decide whether they want to work right away or to study first. Them game has all the big steps in life included like if they want to marry, if they want to have kids, buy a home, travel somewhere, and so on. For each step there were several questions they had to answer.
We all had a lot of fun playing the game and finding out what everyone was going to do with their lives and how they want to realize it.

After that we made amulets. They had to write down their future goals on a small piece of paper and draw a picture on the back. Then they rolled it up, put it in a clear straw and then created an amulet with beads and tassels and so on with it. Some students got very creative during that process and they all made a great outcome.

Creating a tassel

A student with the finished product

Another finished product

Perspective with Thai Freedom House

Hello, again. This past Friday we did an activity about perspective with the children at the Thai Freedom House. Since we have such a wide range of ages in this group, I started with the basics. The first activity was about atmospheric perspective. I told them that if an object is closer to you it should be big, if an object is far away from you it should be small. They were then given two pieces of paper: one with three trees (each a different size) and the other was blank. On the blank piece they were supposed to draw a road with some mountains and then cut out the trees on the other paper and place them on the sheet according to atmospheric perspective. Copying the image I drew on the board proved to be a bit difficult for the younger children, but they greatly enjoyed coloring in the trees.


After they (for the most part) mastered that technique, we moved on to single point perspective. The idea was to create a simple city scene with a road and buildings on either side. Getting all of the initial guide lines in place took some time, but they were still able to individualized their drawings. The time went so fast that we were quite surprised to find we only had ten minutes left. 

We left the drawings with the children so they can finish them this week. I look forward to seeing the results this coming Friday.

~ Katelyn


Exquisite Corpse with the Young Lions

No, we were not playing with dead bodies. Exquisite Corpse is a parlor game created by the Surrealists where multiple individuals work together to create a single image of a person/creature. They tend to look quite odd but also quite amusing.
Photo Source
Photo Source

I adapted this game so that the children would be creating versions of themselves. They were given eight traits to choose from: strong, loud, sweet, curious, clever, lucky, adventurous, and shy. From these eight they were told to choose three that best described them.

Each of these traits corresponded with an animal, so they each ended up with three animals that they then cut into three pieces -- head, torso, and legs. The kids were a bit confused by this, they didn't really understand why they had to cut their pictures up. Once they were all cut and we started rearranging the animal sections to make three different creatures, though, they finally seemed to get the idea. After all of the sections were taped together the children spent the rest of their time coloring in the creatures.

     On Thursday I added another activity where we started with a blank piece of paper, folded into thirds. The first person drew the head, the second person drew the torso, and the third person drew the legs all without looking at what the previous person had drawn. This resulted in some very amusing creatures that caused the children to laugh quite a bit. Overall it was quite fun!