Directions for Easy Arts & Crafts for the Mentally & Physically Challenged

Written by kim nentrup
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Directions for Easy Arts & Crafts for the Mentally & Physically Challenged
Watercolour over top of a crayon drawing for an interesting picture. (Polka Dot/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

People who are mentally and physically challenged can create high quality arts and crafts when given the right adaptations. Sometimes, the adaptations are small, but help a person be successful, such a taping down a paper or using a larger brush.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Crayons
  • Watercolours
  • Small paint brush
  • Watercolour paper
  • Foam block
  • Brayer
  • Printmaking ink
  • Smooth white paper
  • Clay
  • Rolling pin
  • Various objects for pressing into clay
  • Underglazes

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    Crayon and Watercolor Painting

  1. 1

    Draw with crayon all over a piece of white paper. Depending on the person's ability, this can be a scribble or a detailed drawing. It may help to tape down the paper.

  2. 2

    Paint over the crayon with watercolours. Encourage the person to make patches of different colours for variety.

  3. 3

    Explain how the wax is resisting the water and making a design.

    Foam Prints

  1. 1

    Draw firmly on a foam block with a ballpoint pen.

  2. 2

    Load paint onto a brayer and roll over the foam drawing. The raised areas will pick up the paint.

  3. 3

    Place the foam block upside down on a piece of paper and press, making sure to press on the corners, as well as the centre.

  4. 4

    Lift the block from the paper to see the print.

    Clay Slabs

  1. 1

    Roll out a 5-by-8-inch slab of clay about 1 inch thick.

  2. 2

    Give the person many objects with different patterns that can be used with clay, such as a coin, a fork, or a potato masher.

  3. 3

    Encourage the person to experiment with the objects by making patterns in the clay.

  4. 4

    Paint with underglazes and fire.

Tips and warnings

  • Buy paint brushes with large handles for small or weak hands.
  • If help is needed, use the hand-over-hand method so the person is still involved in making the art.

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