ART for Tough Stuff – helping children build resilience

June 11th, 2018

What is ART for Tough Stuff?

ART for Tough Stuff is a hands-on, art programme to help Kiwi kids explore the concept of “tough stuff” and learn skills to help them build resilience during hard times.

ART for Tough Stuff incorporates two powerful tools in modern resilience building: “real” talking and the exploration of ideas through creating art.

Every time we give children the opportunity to express their way through their troubles we are teaching and fostering resilience and that is an invaluable gift.

A recent programme completed with Island Bay School is currently on display in our Inpatient Unit in Newtown, until June 15, 2018.

Island Bay Tough Stuff display 2018

The sessions run from 2-4 hours in schools, aimed at 8 to 12 year olds. It is provided at no cost thanks to generous supporters of Mary Potter Hospice’s Community Programme.

The programme has been developed by Sally Bowman, a Palliative Care nurse at Mary Potter Hospice with experience as a public speaker and creative puppet maker. Sally supports children at Mary Potter Hospice who are experiencing and dealing with grief.

We ran an ART for Tough Stuff session with a class of year 5 and 6 students at Island Bay School. The students had previously made sock puppets with Sally’s guidance. This helped them focus and develop ideas about how to deal with tough stuff. The conversations Sally managed with the students delved below the surface. It was clear some of the students understood how the strategies for dealing with Tough Stuff related to their own situations.

I would highly recommend doing this programme with children. Sally adapted her approach as the session progressed. A great programme for developing resilience in students.

Gretchen Buwalda – Art specialist Island Bay School

Interested in finding out more or booking a session for your school?

To find out more about the programme, or to make a booking (spaces are limited) please contact Sally Bowman by email education@marypotter.org.nz or phone Mary Potter Hospice Newtown on 04 801 0006.