REVIEW: Create & Meditate
Where children are free to express themselves through Art and nurture themselves through mindful meditation.
Following the success of the recently launched ‘Create & Mediate’, Wellness HQ were invited along to the workshop to find out how children can learn self expression through art, and self-nurture through mindful meditation.
Emma Sims, Gabriel Knollys and Mel Thomas are the protagonists in this story. Three Mums who have ten children between them and who share one very fundamental passion: mental health in children.
“This passion became a mission, a mission to prioritise the well-being of our children, your children, as many children as we can reach.
How will we do this? We won’t. The children will! All we’ll be doing is giving them an opportunity, and a little guidance in how to unlock their own superpowers!”
Set against the backdrop of the beautiful village green, Create & Meditate is held in Langton Green Village hall which is the perfect setting for this type of workshop. I was surprised to walk in and find 20 children in the room, between the ages of 6-11, all enjoying learning tangible skills though their varied artistic projects.
There were children using mirrors to do their self portrait, children lying on large sheets of paper outlining their silhouettes, children at the art station deciding what supplies to use (everything from paint, collage strips, wax crayons, and felt tips). They certainly weren’t stuck for inspiration, with plenty of information sheets on each table, showing the elements of shape and providing examples of Joan Miro (known for his block colour paintings and free flowing lines), Kandinsky (he used music in his paintings and used piano keys in his artwork) and Matisse (known for his simple form and texture and colour).
The children were then taken out in groups of 10 through the door in to the beautiful church, where they were asked to go and find a blanket each that had that had been hidden amongst the pews. The children were excited, happy, and now they were cosy as they wrapped up in their blankets listening to Mel.
Mel asked the children if they knew how to look after their bodies, to which they all answered by suggesting diet, exercise and rest. The same answers were given when Mel asked them how they look after their minds. Mel explained that when we think too much it can make us tired, and we need to rest our minds as much as we rest our bodies. She then took us through a number of exercises designed to create more awareness of our senses.
First of all we closed our eyes and clapped our hands, suddenly more aware of the tingling sensations followed by slight heat. Then we traced the outline of left hand using our right finger to the noise of the singing bowl, noticing the slight tickles. To finish, we were given bubbles and we practiced our bubble breathing. The bubbles are more effective if you take a breathe in through your nose and blow out in a long slow breath with your mouth.
We returned to finish our art projects, whilst snacking on fresh fruit and cake. A truly lovely way to end the week.
“Through Create and Meditate, we’d like to provide a space for the children to escape the busy-ness of their heads for a little while. Art can be a form of escape, and meditation a form of stepping back, noticing our thoughts and feelings without getting too tied up in them. The fusion of both will allow the children to express themselves creatively and allow their imaginations to be ignited.”
There are 2 workshops per month with 20 children in each, operating alternate groups so each child has the option to come once per month, or more if they would like. They are held at Grace Space, Langton Green Church Hall (not village hall) on a Friday from 4.30-6.30pm
There will be a ‘homeschool’ workshop coming soon, corporate and adult workshops for busy mums and retreats too.