Blending creativity with action for a fulfilling outcome – that’s what 10 youth from RoundBox @ Children’s Society got up to recently at a workshop where they created their own unique versions of plush toy using felt material. The workshop was initiated by one of the youth in the centre to encourage new interests and is part of RoundBox’s efforts to empower our youth to put ideas into actions.
“I wanted more activities for girls since it’s always sports for boys. I wanted to make plush toys for my friends and it’s so cute.” – ‘P’, RoundBox beneficiary
Felting is an activity that requires patience and physical interaction with peers. Through this activity, the youth were able to demonstrate these qualities, while building on their interpersonal skills as well. Although some of the youth struggled with the new tools and experience, our staff members patiently guided them and encouraged them to persevere. Staff members affirmed and explored creative ways to help the youth complete their own version of the plush toy when the instructions were too difficult. This felting workshop also piqued the interest of other youth who did not sign up for it. They were curious and joined the activity mid-way, even helping other youth to complete the plush toy when they did not manage to.
Some of the plush toys that were created by the youth. How adorable!
While the youth were creating their unique soft toys, the staff members took the opportunity to incorporate a simple grounding exercise called the 3-3-3 method, also known as the “Rule of Three”. The youth were asked to identify three things that they can see, hear and touch during the activity. This combination provided an experiential learning experience for youths to develop mindfulness.
Our youth members creating their plush toys (left) and posing with their final creation (right)
Let’s hear what one of the youth had to say about the experience.
“I learnt that when you have stress or anxiety, it helps to be patient. Many times it can be very hard.” – ‘T’, RoundBox beneficiary
This activity fulfilled RoundBox’s objective of promoting socioemotional well-being such as self-management through psychoeducation and experiential learning among youth. By tapping on youths’ interest in the arts, RoundBox uses their language to talk about mental wellness in an organic manner.
RoundBox @ Children’s Society is a youth drop-in centre that aims to promote positive development while reducing and preventing risky behaviours. The Centre uses the Positive Youth Development (PYD) Framework to reach out to youth in a supportive and nurturing environment. Youth are ingrained with positive character-building values such as respect and responsibility, while developing skills and interests in sports, music and arts such as football, jam band and cooking. As such, when youth come to staff members with ideas, they will be given the responsibility to come up with the details and find participants for the event. This in return creates a sense of leadership and accountability.
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