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Activity Title: Paper Mache Pumpkins

Source: Haar, J. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016 from
http://www.recreationtherapy.com/tx/txpaper.htm
Equipment: 5 medium plastic bowls, water, flour, 5 mixing spoons, newspaper, 810 balloons, toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls, Styrofoam plates, orange, green,
black paint, brushes, gloves, masking tape
Activity Description: The objective of this activity is to provide the participants
with a sense of personal satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, an opportunity to
socialize with peers in a group setting, and chance to reminisce. This activity is a
two part project; the first part of the activity requires the therapist to prepare for the
activity. First, cut cardboard rolls two inches in height. Next, shred the newspaper in
half by crease then lengthwise to make a bunch of strips. Then present the theme to
the participants. Ask them probing questions about their childhood about have they
gone pumpkin picking, and if so to imagine the biggest one that they’ve picked.
Each participant will need to wear a pair of gloves. Once balloons have been blown,
place each one on a Styrofoam plate. To add the stem of the pumpkin, take one
cardboard roll and tape it over balloon tie. Next, pour two cups of flour to one cup of
water in each of their bowls, stir until it makes a thick pate with no lumps. Cover the
balloons with newspaper strips using glue strips. Repeat until entire balloon is
covered. It will take 2-3 days for it to fully dry. Once it’s fully dry, the participants
will paint their balloons orange and the stems green. Once these colors are fully
dried, use black paint to create jack-o-lantern faces.
Leadership Considerations: The CTRS will need to blow up the balloons for the
participants to consider and not further harm any health issues. The CTRS will also
need to by demonstrating, dip one strip of paper into the glue mixture, and then use
fingers to slide of excess glue mixture, then place on balloon. The activity in general
can get messy and the CTRS may need to demonstrate steps to multiple
participants, so the activity needs not be rushed and will require several helpers.
Adaptations: Participants with Depression: Depressive illnesses are disorder of
the brain. Signs and symptoms include persistent feelings of sad, anxious, or
emptiness. Also includes feeling of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness. It also
includes thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts ( What is Depression). For clients
who are unable or unwilling to express themselves verbally, creative activities
provide an important outlet (Robertson, 2008, p.73). Therefore, it is very important
for the CTRS to ask probing question using the arts that will allow the participants to
express themselves.
Participants with low self-esteem: Manipulating paintbrushes, clay, and other
art supplies can help clients develop fine motor skills. Additionally successfully
completing projects can contribute to the self-esteem, self-image and overall
psychological well-being of the client (Robertson, 2008, p. 73)

Adaptation References
-Robertson, T., & Long, T. (2008). Foundations of therapeutic recreation. Champaign,
IL.: Human Kinetics.
-What Is Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016 Retrieved from
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml