Mencap’s Learning Disability Week is an annual campaign raising awareness of people with learning disabilities and celebrating through various themes.
This year the theme is art and creativity, something many people have turned to over the last year as a therapeutic outlet. Many children who have had a brain injury experience learning disabilities, and the process of creating art can give them great sensory benefits.
Art is accessible to everyone, so we’re sharing different ways that children can celebrate Learning Disability Week from home!
Cling film art
A way of creating abstract art in a sensory (and relatively mess-free way)! All you need is white card, paint and cling film. Cling film art allows children to create colourful pieces through touch, but without getting their hands messy.
1) Spread different colours of paint on the card, it works best if you use thin lines crossing over each other, rather than large lumps of paint.
2) Cover the card in cling film and place hands over the top to start spreading the paint around underneath.
Cling film art is more about enjoying the process of creating than the final product, so children can experiment with different ways to mix the paint with their hands!
Cooking and baking
Making meals and sweet treats is also a creative process and can stimulate all five senses.
Cakes and tarts are simple recipes to follow and involve lots of stirring and measuring, which can be great fun.
You can order The Step-by-Step Cookbook, which offers a range of tips and easy-read recipes for cooking with a child following a brain injury.
Homemade play dough and cloud dough
Making these simple doughs can be as much fun as playing with them!
For soft cloud dough, all you need is cornflour, hair conditioner and food colouring.
Children can pick their favourite hair conditioner scents to give the dough its softness and smell.
This cloud dough won’t last as long as traditional play doughs, but will give a different sensory experience. Follow this simple recipe.
For play dough, you just need salt, plain flour, vegetable oil, food colouring and water (follow this recipe). Store this in the fridge in a sandwich bag to preserve it so it can be played with again and again!
Handprint splatter art
Mencap has created its own guide for this activity to celebrate Learning Disability Week.
You can reuse old household spray bottles for this splatter art, and children can experiment with different shapes and colours to create their masterpieces!
Enjoy getting creative!