Art Lesson: Drawing Your Dreams
We've all been there. A peaceful night's sleep is disturbed by your child's cry for help. You rush to their room to find them disoriented, confused, and terrified. Nightmares are a natural occurrence that happens to all of us. they deliver powerful images that induce dread, sadness, and anxiety. For children on the autism spectrum, a nightmare can be harder to cope with. Perhaps your child has a sensory disorder or communication issues that could make expressing themselves more difficult.
The morning after your child has a nightmare, grab a piece of paper, some pencils or crayons and ask your child to draw what they saw in their dream. This is a perfect time to engage them and ask questions:
- What did you see in your dream?
- Who was in the dream?
- Where were you in the dream?
- How did you feel?
Use this opportunity to help alleviate their fears and address their concerns. Your child may have difficulty processing the world around them. this is a great way to help them make sense of it.
Create a Mask or Hand Puppet:
Another activity that Jake and I enjoy is making masks. All that's required for this exercise is some paper bags, construction paper, glue and safety scissors. Get even more creative by adding other items like glitter and pipe cleaners. The objective is to create a scary mask that will scare all of the boogeymen and monsters away at night. Hang the masks around your child's bed to "protect" them when they're in bed at night.
Monster Repellent Spray:
This activity was one of Jake's favorites and is very easy to make. All that you need is an empty water bottle. Fill it with some water and now you have your very own "Monster Repellent Spray". Draw a funny label and tape it to the water bottle. At night before your child goes to bed, give your child a light spritz.
NOTE: Hold on to all of your child's drawings. They can be used to help therapists monitor your child's development. These activities are not meant to replace the experience and knowledge of a licensed therapist.
Activities that include manipulating safety scissors, holding pencils,crayons, or markers are ideal for helping your children develop their fine motor skills.
Engage your children when doing these exercises. This helps children communicate more easily. Make this is a good time for family bonding.