Butcher Paper Graffiti Wall

Here’s another great family activity from Melanie Dresbach

Children are heavily impacted by Shelter in Place and they are often the forgotten souls. Who would think that these tiny ones are sad, fearful, worried, scared for the adults in their lives?  Embrace these beautiful angels, these gifts from God by giving them opportunities to release their fear and anxiety.

Back in the 80’s, we received into the school community on the east side of SJ many very recent refugees from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam who had just gone through hell to get to a more peaceful life than their war torn homelands, and just as they were becoming settled, we in CA experienced one of the most damaging earthquakes ever recorded. The children were terrified, but the adults at home were in absolute shock. The children, with very limited English skills, came to the campus and tried their best to describe what was going on in their homes. I will never forget the words of one precious baby boy in my first grade class, Sarin, who told us this account. Using his best English, he told us: mommy see dog, dog die, ‘ooa’ die, dog down, ooa down. Fearing from what we surmised, that the dog and grandma had lost their lives, we made an immediate home visit to find that ooa, grandma, was fine and that the dog had alerted everyone ahead of time to get to safety!

Feelings, words, fear, hope, future, present: kids, too, need a release.

Butcher Paper Graffiti Wall: Mount a huge piece of butcher paper or a make-shift ‘wall’ of paper, give them writing and coloring utensils/tools, and let the children create a wall of graffiti so that they may express their laments of being in Shelter in Place. If they are welcome to express their feelings fully, let go of conventional rules and give them the freedom to express their hearts.

After affirming the work, place a new ‘wall’ up and have the kids create a positive wall full of hope and rainbows and images that allow for them to embrace the power of Love as Love conquers all.

Respectfully Submitted by Melanie Dresbach