5 Ideas


Research Article

1.  The effects of Art on Trauma:

I am interested in learning more about the positive effects that art outlets have on children who have experienced, or are going through traumatic events in their lives.

2.  Nature Therapy:

Even for that day to day person being outside can be relaxing, enjoyable and therapeutic.  I want to delve more into outdoor therapy programs and tools used to find a healthier way to cope with stress.

3.  Music and Movement:

Have you ever felt down and a silly dance move makes you laugh? Music and Movement are fundamental in a child’s development, and expressing oneself though these outlets can be beneficial to gaining awareness of not only your body, but your mind.

4.  Funding in Schools:

My goal is to travel to different schools and provide services is of therapy through uses of art, music and nature as therapeutic tools.  Knowing what processes need to be followed for funding and allowance of services would be a great concept to know.

5.  The History of Children’s Therapy:

I think it would be an eye opener to see where psychology in Early Childhood has come form and what we now have available for offering help, balance and security for the next generations to come.


Applied Projects

1.  Kits for Kids:

I think it would be great to see the community come together to donate art supplies.  The supplies could be collected and bundled in some fashion.  Then the supplies could be donated to the Bridge House or the Pemi youth center to ensure children around our community can always have art at their fingertips.

2.  Golden Gala:

Go to local centers and ask the children to participate in creating art for an auction.  The evening of the Gala towns folk would walk around a gallery of their children’s art and their peers.  Pieces will be auctioned off and proceeds will go to an organization ensuring that children will have the opportunity to create, express and inspire when they didn’t think they could.

3.  Creative Corner:

I think it would be fun to have a space on campus where students can just go and escape and create a moment for themselves and no other.  Perhaps it could just be a room filled wit paper and pencils, or perhaps a room with many cd players, headphones and charcoal.  No matter the medium, I think it has the potential to be a space of sharing stories and searching for solace.

4.  Musical Movements:

Organize a show where profits from the tickets go directly to children in need.  Perhaps old instruments, cd’s, records etc could be raffled off for additional proceeds,

5.  The Little Book of Wonders

I could create a book, a guide essentially, of all of the natural painter tools one can find.  The book would be compiled of children’s art and pictures of their process.  A book, by kids and for kids that helps broaden their experiences, and guides parents along the process of going with the flow when it comes to being one with nature and art.

Summary Synthesis

All along the paths that I take there are bumps, unexpected turns, potholes and tunnels that seem to never end.  As faint as it may have seen at times, the light was always there, and it gets brighter as I near the end of my journey with my degree.  One thing I have truly realized, again, is that I would much rather be the teacher than the student.  I want to be the guide, the inspiration and the lead for those who are lost and need answers.  I want to work closely with children and guide them through tough times giving them tools to cope and courage to push on, on their own.  For my focus I chose children and their development in conjunction with art.

My Research Article focused on the positive impacts and growth that art can have on children.  Not only in the creative sense but on a deeper developmental level.  Art can enhance, bring out and blossom skills in all areas of growth. From cognitive abilities to getting ready to hold a pencil to write.  I wanted to reach home with a child I knew to show in depth how just one child showed me the power of art and how to nurture it, in turn, nurturing and encouraging so much more within himself.

The Applied Project focused on art and development as well.  This was an application that benefited both the children, as they created the art, and for the teachers who I intend as the audience. The children all took time to come visit me and create their works.  It was great one on one time which can help instill trust, value, confidence, independence, and strengthen language skills, with one on one conversations-just to name a few!  The amount of stimulation each child experienced, is more profound than meets the eye.

As I am know doctor, therapist or professional in the world of Art and its benefits, I am a seasoned teacher who has seen first hand the beauty and strength children develop when they can make a connection through art.  I want not only for children to be exposed to that, but for teachers to be aware of what they can do to promote it.  Teachers need to not be afraid of mess, or crossing curriculum areas and tools.  We need to allow children to be free, create and be encouraged to their fullest extent.

My hope is to see more art within nature and nature within art at schools and in homes.  As our children gown, so should their opportunities.


Always Encourage.

The Story of John

Art- Effects and Encouragement:

Through the Story of John


Stacy Navis

Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone

Table of Contents

Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………………………….. I

Definitions and Illustrations………………………………………………………………… II

Introduction to Art Therapy…………………………….………………………………….. 1

Branches of Art Therapy…………………………………………………………………….. 2

Benefits of the Arts…………………………………………………………………………….. 3

The Story of John……………………………………….……………………………………….. 4

Social/Emotional……………………………………….………………………………………… 6

Cognitive..………………………………………………….……….………………………………… 8

Fine and Gross Motor……………………………….….………………………………………. 9

Language…………………………………………….….…………………………………………… 10

My Own Drawn Conclusions……….………………..…………………………………….. 12

A Word to the Next Teacher……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13

Bild 1: bberlin2010


Introduction to Art Therapy

“Art therapy predates the use of the word art to describe the visual, symbolic productions of preliterate societies.” (Ebsco)  Over the years professionals have been developing new styles, evolving techniques and applying new discoveries to children around the world through means of art therapy, in efforts to help them heal, cope and integrate them into a sable mind set. Freud and Jung both played parts in trying to determine if art healed, or if the sick created art because they were ill. In the United States Margret Naumburg and Edith Kramer both claimed to have coined the term Art Therapy, either way, they both were key players in its development.

Elinor Ulman was the first to publish a journal, the Bulletin of Art Therapy in 1961. This engaged other professionals to publish, read and trade ideas and thoughts about the subject. After some time, they held a conference, and decided to create a national association for themselves. In 1969 the National Art Therapy Association was born, and the following year their first official conference was held.

Much like Interdisciplinary Studies, art therapy incorporates the blend of fields such as “psychiatry, psychoanalysis, art history, projected techniques and education.”1  When it came to introducing art in education, it had been decades or work to get ideas and practices integrated. Margaret Naumburg applied art therapy to the Children’s School in 1914 and became the pioneer of art therapy. “Naumburg believed that children should freely express their ideas, fantasies, hopes and fears, as a means as to counter repression and promote mental health” (Ebsco)


Branches of Expressive Arts Therapy

The world of expressive arts therapy is vast and still progressing daily. It is a filed of multidimensional aspects. We can look to forms of physical arts; writing, drawing, painting etc. We can move beyond the tangible to drama and musical therapy; listening, signing, movement. We can branch into the connections within nature; fresh air, sounds, sights and the ability to express freely about us.

For myself, I have been an educator over the past twelve years. Through my schooling and hours in the field, I had come to the conclusion early on that art is a fundamental presence that needs to be in the lives of children. Children are never to young to be exposed to art. I have worked with infants of two months of age, to children that are thirteen and leaving he after school programs that year. I have felt that art is a necessary process that children must discover and be given encouragement to do so; To make a mess and flourish.

The information that follows will focus on four areas of development for the Whole Child through the benefits of their practice in arts. As I am no professional in the field of therapy, I can only give my insight as a teacher on what I have seen take place in my own schools within my classroom and playgrounds as first hand accounts. Over the years I have incorporated art into many areas of my curriculum, and allow free art to be accessed daily. These practices were in place to always promote and encourage expressions, development and creativity in every space my children could flourish.



 Benefits of the Arts

             When I first began to work with children, I didn’t always focus on art. Teachers, who were stuck in their old habits, when it came to allowing the children autonomy, had mentored me for the most part.   It wasn’t until I had my own infant classroom that I realized every child deserves to be exposed to art in the early stages of their development. It strengthens so many core components and allows for cross curriculum development and allows the focus to be on the process not the products.

I slowly began to see for myself benefits of art on young children. Emotions and areas of development intertwine and affect one another. A child, who through art can find self-esteem, can then begin to find so much more. They become enlightened and feel a sense of empowerment. They can take control of their emotions and find relief within a realm of comfort, protection and inspiration. Some may look at it only as art but the connections children make translate to every day life in regards to coping and finding strategies to carry with them.

For the child who is quiet and has little to no confidence, art can make them feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. “Time and time again, I have noted the catalytic effect of art in a student’s life. The shy one becomes confident—the slow-learner shows a new eagerness.   For it is by creating something unusual that he discovers his worth”(Lehman, 1969, p.46).2 I can say that I have seen this myself. Several years ago I worked with a boy who was three; Let’s just call him John.


dinosaurs world: Yoshiyasu Nishikawa

                                                                   The story of John

Today John would be eight. He had brown eyes and hair, loved to wear red and had a smile that would make anyone smile back. John was shy, caring and brought with him to the preschool classroom an IEP. He often drifted off into his own thoughts or books. Any book. John could be found in the science center looking at the bugs, or in blocks building towers. He was also quite quiet with the exception of singing at circle and talking about the dinosaurs he read about the night before with his mom. John did interact with the other students, however he was often asking them to give him space or to stop talking loudly. Rarely did he join for art or writing. When he did it was a glued piece of paper here and a scribble there. I always encouraged John to join art, but never made him feel he had too.

One day John asked me if he could paint at the easel. I thought nothing of it, put a new piece of paper on and watched him create. He spent about 20 minutes at the easel that day and he was the proudest I had seen him up to that day. He stepped back form his work and kept adding to it. He smiled at the end. He came over to get me to look at it. John didn’t see me beaming with pride the whole time he was working. He said he made it for his mom and wanted to take it home. While he napped, I framed it with paper and wrote on the back to his mother. I had no idea the impact that would have on John and his mom.

The next day his mother came in, in tears, and thanked me for what I had done. She had told me John did not stop talking about and looking at his framed art from the time he left school to the time he came back the next day. The simple fact that I “allowed” a child the freedom to paint, express and find confidence meant the world to not only John but his mother as well. From that day on John and I had a bond that no other teacher understood, and that was perfectly okay.


Social/ Emotional

             John was a quiet boy who often kept to himself. Solitary play is necessary in a child figuring out who they are, what they enjoy and what they may not enjoy. Often a child does not like an area of the room or a subject because they are lacking confidence. Confidence is not innately there, it is something that is nurtured and built up from family, educators, community and peers alike. The day John painted at the easel, his confidence grew just enough to overlap into other areas of development.

The days, weeks and months to follow, John looked for the easel as an option during free play. When the easel was full, he waited there and watched the other children create. This in turn prompted him to begin talking to the other students while they worked. He either asked about their colors, or simply, when they would be done. This may seem minute, but the leaps John took in communicating with classmates were huge. “At the same time, performing in visual and performing arts activities promotes skills and dispositions that lead to social-emotional development.” (Brouillette, 18)

Asking if they were “done” is a skill John will need to carry on with him for the rest of his life. It is practicing patience. How many adults today do not have patience? John was learning at a young age to wait patiently for his turn. When the other children would come to the easel he would sometimes become irritated and retort that his turn is next. Those burst were another portal to a lesson learned about talking with respect and letting someone else know that they need to wait just like John is. He preferred to be solo for his art while other children would collaborate at the easel. “When children work together in the art area, they learn to share, to interact with others, to be responsible for cleanup, and to put materials away.” (extensions, 1)

This back and forth of waiting and being patient helps nurture the valuable skill of turn taking. We take turns every day; waiting at stop signs, standing in the line at the bank or waiting for a drink at the bar. It is critical to understand that we cannot always be first and waiting cannot always be fast. Through wanting to paint and create again and feel that pride he felt the first day at the easel, John was practicing so much more than one may see on the surface.


Balancing in the Rain: Jane Yarham


         When John painted he was strengthening his brain. His core, concrete intellectual skills were growing with each dip, stroke and application of paint. When painting with the left hand and crossing over to the right of the paper, is a milestone in children’s development. It is a visual cue that the child is developing typically. This is called Bilateral Coordination. “Good bilateral integration/ coordination is an indicator that both sides of the brain are communicating effectively and sharing information.” (LLC, 1)

One way that I encourage children to develop a sense for which hand will be dominate, or if they will be ambidextrous, is I always have plenty of materials for them to use and manipulate. One day john began painting with two brushes, one in each hand. As he created he dipped both brushes in the same container or individually in separate ones. This was strengthening his eye-hand coordination. By focusing on two holes, narrowing in and coming back out, he was practicing tasks he was unaware of. The two brushes led to circles being created at the same time, and brushes crossing paths, blended colors and creating vibrant patterns on his canvas.

“In The Brain and Learning (2008), Eisner states that the arts provide children with experience, meaning, and development of thought.“ (Baker, 2) This held true the first time John painted. He gained a new experience, found meaning in his work, felt pride, and it provoked thought when he asked me if I liked his art. Just like play, art and incorporating connections is spontaneous. “This sense of the unknown provides children with opportunities to develop flexibility in their thinking and decision making, which is a vital life skill.” (Drew & Nell, 2)


Fine Motor Activities: Nicole

Fine and Gross Motor 

Ever wonder what the reason is behind a young child throwing a ball in wonky directions…behind them, to the left of their target or just simply at the ground? The body develops in a particular format and muscles are strengthened and refined first through gross motor functions and then fine motor. “Acquiring motor skills is just one part of children’s development. Mastering both fine and gross motor skills are important for children’s growth and independence. Having good motor control helps children explore the world around them and also helps with their cognitive development.” (Pathways, 1)

After their gross (large) muscles develop such as their arms for lifting, their legs for squatting and their torsos for bending, they can begin to improve their fine (small) muscles. Fine motor skills include pinching, picking, and gripping. Now here is where we get to the art, Many motions involved with the art process, such as holding a brush or making scribbles with a crayons and pencils, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills.  I unfortunately never got the opportunity to see John write his name, however I did see his artist tool repertoire expand.

John began to use the crayons and colored pencils. After a few months of creating art in his own space at the easel, he joined us at the table for the length of the art activities. Other classmates sat with him and they chatted amongst themselves. John would smile at them and giggle every so often. He did enjoy socializing it was just in moderation. While creating a collage, John began using the glue stick on his paper. Typically he would apply mix media pieces and at naptime I would adhere them to his paper for him, so he could keep what he created. Now he was doing it own his own.



             There is a famous saying in the Early Education world; Art is a process, not a product. This idea and method of instilling core values, concepts and skills is complex. A child could create a painting and at the end crumple it up, smear black across it or throw it away. The end results can bring about feelings of accomplishment yes, but the process they went through to make the final decision of the art, is powerful and important. “Sometimes when children are asked to focus on an end result, or to finish something, it can limit the type of learning that can take place. Through self-expression and creativity, children’s skills will develop naturally.” (Penn, 1)

I had mentioned earlier that when John was finished, he asked for my opinion, this was a great leap in the realm of language development. This was self-initiated. His art gave him the feeling that he could open up and share with an adult in his life. I told him I liked how he used blue, and he pointed to the blue. I told John how I loved the circles he made, he counted out two. Right there was a back and forth conversation (social), color and shape identification (mathematics), and more eye-hand coordination (cognitive) when pointing to the details in his work.

With language you can introduce and reinforce many, many terms through art. When the brush is applied softer, or harder different strokes appear; Some strokes are light while others are dark. When paint drips down the easel, gravity and science can be tied in, creating lessons and connections in real time and holding true meaning when it’s a true teachable moment.  One technique I like to include in children’s art is dictation of their thoughts and work. It is important to capture the true essence of what they created in that moment. Most often, children know and remember what they have created. When they tell me “this is a moose for my mom” I make sure to include that on their piece for everyone to know the story of the artwork. The child then also has a written representation of their masterpiece. Their stories come to life.


Painting by mouth: oddharmonic

My Own Drawn Conclusion

John brought his story to life at that easel, and began to express himself from that day forward. All of his growth could have just been due to his intrinsic milestone timeline. Maybe he could have been given encouragement to broaden his discoveries. Perhaps he found the confidence to try something new. Both are possibilities because of the art-enriched environment John was exposed to.

I have no data, test scores, or references, to say that that was what brought John’s self expression out, but I do know it made a difference in how he was in class. From that day on he was more expressive, inquisitive, social and present than ever before. Over time he displayed budding traits of a young boy who was becoming more confidant, assertive, expressive and kind. All along the way I had the privilege of watching John grow, discover and find independence with more ease.


A Word to the next Teacher 

Research has indicated these positive impacts to be true for children. They have been studied, practice and tried true. Art is an enhancer to self-esteem, which in turn spirals out into many facets of learning, development and life.   My motto as a teacher is simply, ENCOURAGE. Encourage children in everything they do. Lend them a hand, an ear or a palette filled with more paint than they can use. Let children express themselves through art to find their voices later on. Give them the tools to succeed and an outlet to seek when they need to cope, relax, escape for clarity, safety or just because.

Always encourage and always remember…


“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso

Works Cited

 My Ebsco host ones won’t find the site again…here are the links:

 1. http://web.a.ebscohost.com.libproxy.plymouth.edu/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/ZTAwMHhuYV9fNDUyNjc0X19BTg2?sid=b6ce6479-30b2-451d-bfb8-87dce3bd3c35@sessionmgr4010&vid=0&format=EB&rid=1


http://web.a.ebscohost.com.libproxy.plymouth.edu/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/ZTAwMHhuYV9fMTMxOTQxX19BTg2?sid=81b6b4c5-74dd-4c84-8c1e-4a9b673199d5@sessionmgr4007&vid=0&format=EB&rid=1   page 312

3. “What Is Bilateral Coordination and Why Is It Important?” Child’s Play Therapy Center. Child’s Play Therapy Center, LLC., 06 Aug. 2014. Web. 3 May 2017.

4. Baker, Dawn. “Art Integration and Cognitive Development.” Journal for Learning through the Arts 9.1 (2013): 2. Print.

5.  “Art – An Opportunity to Develop Children’s Skills.” Better Kid Care (Penn State Extension). Pen Sate College of Agricultural Sciences, 06 Feb. 2014. Web. 3 May 2017.

6.  Nell, Marcia L., and Walter F. Drew. “Five Essentials to Meaningful Play.” Five Essentials to Meaningful Play | NAEYC For Families. NAEYC, n.d. Web. 3 May 2017.

7. “Motor Skills Milestones | Child Development.” Pathways. Pathways, 2017. Web. 3 May 2017.

8.  Eubanks, Paula. Art and Language Development. N.p.: Sperry Corporation, n.d. Print

9. “Creative Art Helps Children Develop across Many Domains.” EXtension. EXtension, 2015. Web. 12 May 2017.

10. Brouillette, Liane. “How the Arts Help Children to Create Healthy Social Scripts: Exploring the Perceptions of Elementary Teachers.” ARTS EDUCATION POLICY REVIEW 111 (2010): 16-24. Print.

A Guide to Art for All: Big and Small

 I have been a teacher for the past 12 years, and as of recent, a new opportunity has opened up for me.  I am taking a break from working with children, and am joining the corporate world of sales…it may seem like such a different element of work, but in the end it will allow me to open my own business, a few years down the line!  That business would entail me to sell myself as a respectable and knowledge educator and therapist introducing therapeutic techniques involving art, nature and music to young children.

Working with young children and other teachers, I often think adults forget what it was like to be messy, run around with your pants off care free, eat dirt and massage mud in hair!  This is a staple to any explorative, age appropriate development, and we should not stifle the silliness that ensues just because there my be a bigger mess to clean.  Also, books, cars, dolls and most anything else a child finds interest in, can be taken to different zones, rooms, or tables.  Some people get to caught on cars belong on the floor.  Well technically, they belong on the road…Secondly, there are many benefits to a child looking at wheels rotate at eye level on a table.  Or, gravity and inertia when the car is released on a slide.  Cross curriculum is huge in a child’s development.

I have come up with a resource for teachers that inspires art to be seen in a different light.  I have began “book” for educators to find materials to create different works of art, and in the process creating so many more connections for the children participating, and the peers’ observations.  The tools are all from nature.  A paintbrush was used, but only to paint bark and bushes! All safe paints 🙂

Natalie, “Rosemary”

The final product has artwork from the children (they all said yes )!  Within this you will find some of my documentations, observations and conclusion of the activity.  The story told throughout pictures.  The book also boasts benefits for the children in areas of development and other connections to make.  The set up is easily readable and layouts are the same for the different works of art.  It is an easy resource to thumb through.  Take for instance “Rosemary.”  The section on this art also includes pre-art activities such as collecting rosemary, counting the rosemary, comparing the pieces, rolling the rosemary between our fingers and much more.  Some include follow up activities and modifications due to age, and other factors.

 The layout is simply paper inserted into sheets.  Along the way I decided to modify how it was going to be put together.  I wanted it to look and feel authentic to lesson plan binder.  I chose to write in the activities and connections to entice the teacher who reads it to add to it themselves.  Find a new tool, new inspiration and add the art.  All in all, I wanted a resource that holds true to what I believe in, which is young children being exposed to art, nature and having the encouragement to be autonomous, inquisitive and free.

Let’s start by taking a look at an example of a section.  We can start with Otis A.  He did Grass painting.  Otis A. had a palette and a brush, I incorporate them when we need to paint our main tool!  He used his fine motor skills to apply the paint to the grass.  Here he is developing critical skills that will help him succeed in writing.  Gripping is a fine motor skill that needs to be nurtured.

He had no time limit, and could paint the grass until his pallet was empty.  Once more paint was applied to the grass he expressed that he was done.  The next step into process is to put the paper down on the grass.  They can then walk on it, stomp, hop, skip and so forth.  The impressions from their weight make beautiful strokes in the grass.  Also, patterns from show soles transfer in the creating.  When I do this activity I also sing the jumping song.  “Otis, Otis jump up and down, jump up and down. Otis, Otis jump up and down, now Otis look at your Art.”  He then backed up, bent down and revealed his colorful creation.  A smile upon his face.  He felt proud.

Evangelene also painted with a brush, but hers was use to paint a Bush yellow.  She painted the tips of the branches and watched it drip saying, “Oops” the first time.  I told her that it was okay and that the yellow paint fell onto the green grass from gravity, and how her shoe could possibly transfer it.   From just that one drip,

the lesson could expand to many places.  She continued to paint.  Once Eva was satisfied with the amount of paint on the bush, I gave her her paper.  She manipulated the paper in more than one way to achieve her masterpiece.

At first she used the branches as if they were brushes them selves.  She was working on concentration in getting the branches to bend in order for the paint to transfer onto her paper.  The sun also made the yellow tricky to see, so she moved around with it.  Once the paint was off of the tips, she bent her paper to reach different angles

After wards, she stepped back and looked at both art and bush, handed me her picture and asked for more.  Evangelene was using critical thinking, problem solving and strengthening her cognitive development.  All vital skills she will need as she grows through life, meets obsticals, attends grade school, applies for a job etc.  The skills she is developing out of curiosity and ambition, are derived from a paint, a brush and a bush.

After wards, she stepped back, looked at both art and bush, handed me her picture and asked for more.  Later on she created the work for Feathers.

Next is Otis F.  He used his fingers, wrists, arms, shoulders and his upper body strength to paint with Rocks.  This is one of my favorite activities and I normally call it “Rocks in a Box.”  I have made adaptations to this activity.  For infants and young toddlers, the rocks go into a pitcher with the top sealed off, and they can shake to their hearts content.  Otis F. is old enough to now know that Rocks are for: feeling with your fingers, seeing with you eyes, sniffing with your sniffer, hearing with your ears but not for eating!  He chose blue paint.

When I talk about colors with my kiddos I tell them about shades. Not every blue is blue, not evey green is green. There are variations in tones and hughes.  They are young, but never to young to be exposed to language, new ideas and expressions.  What better way to learn about shades than watching them blend right before your eyes.

Otis F. used his fingers every once in a while to push the rocks around or move them back onto the paper.  He was strengthening his eye-hand coronation and working on fine motor precision when picking up the rocks with his pincher fingers. But he would go right back to shaking!

Occasionally rocks flew out and it was funny.  He would follow the trails that the paint made on the floor.  He saw skip marks and splatters when the rock made contact.  He heard it hit, saw it roll and felt it when he picked it back up.  He had a blast.

One of the children who I had the privilege or working with was born at only two pounds.  His brother 1 pound. Ethan hit his milestones later than the other children, but he was a tough little guy. He impressed me every day, from holding his spoon on his own, to crawling just a few weeks before I left the school. I gave Ethan Wool to help with sensory sensitivity and strengthen his hands.

At first Ethan would hold the wool and drop it.  I dipped it into the paint and put in on my paper.  I gave the wool to him and helped guide his hand.  From there he was wary of the textured when the wool was wet.  He was a trooper, as he is in everything, and kept creating his art.  When picking up his palette he tried to eat it a few times, but we talked about what paint was for.  And that it was on his circle pallet for him to dip.

Once he started to loose interest in the pallet, he began to play with the wool.  Art is the process not the product.  Ethan continued to manipulate the wool for the rest of the time.  He would bring his hands together crossing his midline, strengthening his cognitive skills.  These will turn into balance, the ability to bend with control, walking and any gross motor (large muscle) function that requires stability and coordination.

With the work he did that day in his hands, he has developed just that little bit more he will need to continue to pull himself up to standing, or gripping the shelf with one hand when he needs to lower himself back down.  All of these skills can be nurtured and enhanced at this age.  He is a sponge, and learns through play.  The simplicity of pulling wool could lead him to a gripping future.

My youngest artist featured in the Resource Book is Quinn.  She came to me at 2 months old.  She is a spitfire, and has the red hair to match!  She has always been uniquely strong.  She doesn’t crawl so much as she scoot, but she scoots with power.  She is incredibly fast and limber.  Since about 3 months Quinn was sitting herself up and mobile.  She is going to keep her parents busy for sure!  Quinn and I hunted for Pinecones and she created a rainbow of colors. 

At first Quinn did great with dipping the pinecone in the paint.  She practiced techniques creating different effects with the paint.  The dots were achieved with just the tip of the pinecone.  She held it upside down and bent her head to see it touch the paper.  She then discovered the pinecone crunched when she pressed down onto it.  The pallet was forgotten about from then on!

She smushed it and was rough, as infants can be!  She used her core strength to lean into it when trying to hear the crunch.  At one point the pinecone was painting the table and not her paper.  Please always remember, Art is the process not the product.  During Quinn’s process she used her senses to explore a pinecone: smell, the sticky sap and the sound of the crunch.  In the end she gained a lot more from those 6 minutes than a beautiful piece of art.

She saw colors blend, lines form, paint splatter, smear and smudge.  Her exposures should always be as bright, open and expressive as her pinecone picture.

I have tried to express to those who I have mentored and to parents who have asked, that children need to learn through play.  It is how the make meaningful connections and discover what they can do, enjoy doing and what they dislike.

When it comes to art it is okay to leave materials out. If they spill or break, that is okay too.  That is what children are here to do.  They are here to push boundaries and learn from their mistakes, just like we did.  It is our job to instill in them independence, creativity and a sense of safety in their environment.  Allow them to be messy, spontaneous and out of the box.  It has always been my motto with children, and it always will be, as I it hold near to my heart in the world of art,

Always Encourage.

That Road Down There…

Me on the summit of Mt. Moosilauke

I used to think I would travel across the states in a van before I was thirty. I’d have my dog, teach myself guitar, meet new people etc..  Well truth be told, the closest I’ve gotten to that dream, is I am a year from being thirty.  In the last few years I have come to the realization that this is okay.  My path has been a bit windier than I imagined or would have liked, but I have yet to find a portal to take me back! I have reflected, reassessed and realized that my plan has extended until I am 40.  I still have years to become who I want to be in the scholarly sense, and I will only continue to discover myself more in depth up here in the White Mountains.

Floral Tree Cookies Created by my Infant classroom: 3 months of age to 2 years of age.

After I receive my Bachelors I plan on applying for my Masters in Mental Health with a focus on Play Therapy at Plymouth State University.  I hope to have my own business around here with a  focus on the arts as therapeutic outlets.  What better place than the White Mountains for that?!  However, just like I don’t own a time portal, I don’t have a magic button to just up an have my own business.  I have, however, come up with the name for my business which makes me want it even more!  To see my name and my business’ name on a card, a door or even a restaurant placemat, will be the most rewarding personal accomplishment .  In the mean time I plan on pursuing a career in sales.

I have recently applied and have been interviewed for a sales manager at a company here in the Whites. I am just now waiting to hear back about another interview with the GM of the company.  So…fingers crossed!  I would love nothing more than to have the opportunity to grow and learn within a sales company about the process and myself as a salesperson.  I am ambitious and want to make a name for myself in sales without the compromise of city life, where most large companies reside.  Having the opportunity up here to work and build more school experience at the same time, will hopefully help me out with future endeavors, along with connections I have made.

Artists Bluff. The only picture I have taken while climbing and I’m not even in it! Did a small climb up for 4th of July last year.

As far as my ambitions for education and career goes, I know what I want and I am making my way towards it.  I do not want to compromise adventure along the way.  I want to have fun and see the world.  I recently began learning how to climb and I have gained the ski bug rather quickly in learning how to ski as well!  I want to take in every day up here and look at my surroundings as I go through my daily tasks, commutes and repeat.  The outdoors lay right beyond my door and it is an opportunity I want to soak up for as long as I can.  And so far it’s looking like I’ll be here for a while before I am ready to go down the road less traveled.

One Semester, Two Days

I am amazed at how fast this semester is going by.  When I decided to come back to school after 6 years, I knew I was going to have a full plate.  Last semester I was able to maintain a 40 hour work week and take evening classes for a full load.  This semester I am pushing through with all courses on two days, Tuesday and Thursday, losing 10 hours of work a week.  Despite that loss, it hasn’t at all been what I was expecting!

The time is going by easier because there is less back and forth in my day and I can hunker down and do work in between classes.  While enrolled in my courses I have discovered that I have a passion for sales.  I have decided to extend my time here even more and pursue a Minor along with my Major in IDS.

Call me crazy, I know I do, but with all the time and money I have put into my education, I want to cement  for myself a future.  A future that can pay off that debt and keep me afloat when I graduate form Plymouth State University.

Applied Project Prospectus

The Little Book of Wonders

I could create a book, a guide essentially, of all of the natural painter tools one can find.  The book would be compiled of children’s art and pictures of their process.  A book, by kids and for kids that helps broaden their experiences, and guides parents and teachers along the process of going with the flow when it comes to being one with nature and art…..

…..This was my idea generated.  I really want to make a book with art from my classroom.  I work with children ages 2 months to 2 years and you better believe that we do art everyday! Art is free flowing, expressive and most of all encouraging.  I have this idea to have my own business where I use nature and art as therapeutic tools of expression.  I want to put together a book of art that children have created, using tools of various means.  A paintbrush is rarely used in my room, unless I am painting feet, grass or other objects to use as the tools.

The book, not sure of its official title yet, will be set up with pictures of children carrying out the motions and tasks.  Descriptions of what the art enhance will also be included with each activity and tool.  Some of the details in what the art and tools provide can include…..

Eye Hand Coordination

Fine Motor Detail

Spatial Awareness

Cross Body Movements…etc.

The book will ave a smilier set up in each page that way it can be used as a reference.  If someone were to pick up the book and need an art ideas to enhance Gross Motor output, they can look to Rocks-ina-Box.  If someone wants an activity that helps with sensory issues you can look to Ice-Cube Creations.  Each activity is carted with tools around us, and can carried to meet the needs of a new tool, the child individually or the setting you are provided.

I am looking forward to combining my ideas, children’s art and having a joint effort to create a unique and usable tool for teachers, parents, researchers and art lovers alike along with everyone in between!

Research Project Prospectus

I have a love for children, psychology, art and nature.  I want to do a focus on the benefits of therapeutic art avenues, their techniques and results.  I think that looking at Art Therpay is too broad of a topic, so I want to narrow it in more.  When doing that, I can focus on areas of theraputic expressions of art in the forms of…





and Nature

Once I have those areas sorted out I will make a flow of each section and have it clearly stated what my objections are in reference to each domain.  The Arts will have sections under them that dig deeper and focus more on points of effectiveness, statistics, trials, cases and much more.  Some areas that I want to branch into for each of the Arts are…

Creative Outputs



History of when ideas became used in practice

Geographically where are results seen more….etc.

Some day I want to have my own business in mental health with a focus on Play Therapy.  I want to incorporate art and nature and allow my clients to have access to tools for coping and dealing with everyday struggles.  This project will allow me to understand more of what would be an effective tool versus a “handy” tool.

Digging deeper into ideas, introductions and real life cases will enable me to grow and develop my own tools for myself, my classroom and to build up upon when I am ready to use them in my own business setting down the road.

Interdisciplinary Studies Essay

Stacy Navis

Interdisciplinary Studies Essay


Expressive Arts in Education


My program is Expressive Arts in Education. Within this program I want to focus my courses mainly on business with some Psychology. In combining business with the educational and psychological components I have already gained and achieved, I feel I have created a strong program to help propel me to my future goals. Through the business courses I want to develop and obtain a sense of understanding of what owning and running my own successful business would entail.

Expressive Arts in Education is aimed towards Business, Psychology and Early Childhood Education all incorporating expressive arts and nature. The use of expressive arts as a tool for healing in my small business will come through exposure of different mediums and powered with the child’s’ interest in mind bringing nature into sessions, and session into nature.

The ultimate goal in my career is to combine children and art in a sense that helps them find who they are and gain coping skills within their everyday lives. I would love to have my own company where I can travel to schools in the surrounding areas and offer my services to children. With my company I would focus on the expressive arts and nature as tools for growth and healing. The name for my dream company is PEACE of Mind. PEACE is an acronym for Practicing Expressive Arts Creating Encouragement. The name of my company says it all for what I hope to achieve in working with children on a clinical level.

I have my Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and have a great grasp on what the whole child needs. In my years teaching I have seen the power of art reach not only children, but also the adults in their lives a well. Art is a means to express when we cannot always get our words out. Art is a tool that any one can use and transform for themselves. Art is a way to be free.

With this vision of owning my own business and running a smooth program that works, I feel that it is important to first have an understanding of what owning a business means. I feel that the courses that I have chosen for myself will help me achieve that goal.

Ultimately after I obtain my Bachelors degree here at Plymouth State I hope to continue on in my education at the university to receive my Masters in Counseling with a concentration in Play Therapy. Once accepted into that program the work will be geared towards counseling and courses related only to that discipline. I feel that this is my chance to gain all I can in business to pair it with the Early Childhood Education and Psychology components that I already possess.

Plymouth State University’s Interdisciplinary Studies program is exactly what I need to achieve this dream of my small business. With the combination of disciplines that I am looking to meld, I need the option to pick and choose a few from each area. If I were to pursue a degree in business I feel that I would lose the Psychology components, which is important for me to have. I also feel that the Psychology program is not for me because I want to have more options in what my focus is on, and an Interdisciplinary Studies degree allows me to do so.

I want to bring together Early Childhood Education, Psychology and Business that includes art and nature embedded deep within my program. Another reason I am steering away from a major in Psychology and a possible minor in Business is because I work full time and have picked up more jobs to return to school. A Psychology degree is not offered at night here at Plymouth State so it would not be a beneficial program for me at this time. Interdisciplinary Studies is the program for me that fits my current needs and my future ambitions.

Currently holding an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education I feel that continuing to pursue that program in my second degree is not the path I want to take. I want to use my education to push myself further, gaining more knowledge in more disciplines, to be the most successful in helping children during their first years of life.


Measuring Behavior (TECO):

When it comes to the behavior of children I can make assumptions of why the behaviors are occurring and what can be done to redirect or eliminate said behaviors. Through my experience teaching I have ideas and strategies to cope with the behavior, but I do not know how to properly gather information, look at the figures and truly analyze what is occurring. This analysis is what I need in order to understand and implement solutions for healing in my sessions. This course will give me a solid foundation for what it truly means to observe actions and what to do with all of the vital information making it as impactful as it can be in my therapeutic process.


Statistics in Psychology (QRCO):

Each child is different from the next; hence we are all individuals. Children may exert different behaviors and respond to different methods of redirection, therapy and discipline but the application of studying and helping these behaviors must come from a place of common research, knowledge and application. This class can provide what those commonalities, equations and variables look like. I feel I can gain a lot of useful tools and methods to help enable myself to better the children and families that I service.


Principles of Marketing:

To have a business and to be successful with it comes from promoting yourself, your products and your service. This course can provide me with hands on tools that can help me promote myself in a way that is fresh, thorough and easy to receive. I will need to market my business to not only schools but families as well. I want to have a great understanding for how to do that in what’s best for the population I serve, my company and myself.


Financial Reporting and Analysis:

In starting out with my own small business I should be informed on not only how to market what I provide yet also have an understanding for financial matters within my small business. I want to be capable of running things on my own to start, and eventually do well enough to grow within staffing and perhaps expand wherever my services can reach. I want to understand the financial aspects and know what to calculate, how and where those calculations fit into play within my business. I want to know what comes in and what goes out and know how to fix a monetary situation when it arises.


Business Innovations:

With creating my own business unique to its services I think this class will be extremely helpful to understand what I need to truly achieve this goal of mine. I think working side by side with others and in teams for hands on projects will be very beneficial in gaining ideas, tools and knowledge to start up myself. I think it would be great to look at businesses of both success and failure to see what I should keep in mind to attempt and to avoid when building my own. The capstone project would be a great starting point to test my ideas and theories of my own business and it could give me a lot of insight and potential to make my dream come to fruition.


Professional Selling Skills:

It’s one thing to obtain a degree and start my own business, but how will I sell that information when the time comes? Once the business is started where do I go from there? This class will help prepare me to be able to reach out to schools and families and bring them back to my business as clients. I want to be confidant in what I have built and I want to know the tools to make my vision come to life and be as successful as possible in my outreach.


Organizational Communications (WRCO):

I want to not only be an effective communicator for potential employers, but I want to be competent enough to reach out to potential employees down the line. Working with schools and families it will be extremely important to know how to write and communicate in a professional manner. I expect to write many papers, referrals, pamphlets, website pages, program outlines and much more while in my business. All of the topics touched in the course will only help me become a better communicator being an advantage to bringing in a large draw for my business.



            When it comes to working with children who demonstrate certain behaviors there is generally an underlying issue to result in said behaviors. I feel that taking this course will enable me to get a better grasp on what those factors are, playing into a child’s emotions and actions. I can begin to understand on a deeper level how to look into family dynamics, community and school situations that all play apart in the behaviors. Looking at and working on theories provided can help me better assess and treat the behaviors in my expressive program.


The program that I have created for myself wholly encompasses Interdisciplinary Studies. I have chosen to meld fields that do not typically fall into one idea, rather than just one or two disciplines that could come together. I want to gain knowledge in Business to build my company of Psychology, Counseling, Art, Music, Nature and Early Childhood Education. Within those disciplines, there are many layers, ideas, theories and advances that are unique to each making this truly an Interdisciplinary path that I want to pursue.

My future looks full of mystery and uncertainty yet bright and open to what it can be. With this program that I have created for myself I can feel assured that I am one step closer to figuring out what lies ahead for me. With PEACE of Mind I want to be successful in helping children find strength to cope with every day life. I hope to help children find their voice standing up for themselves in their homes, school and community. I want to give families comfort in knowing that their children are receiving great care and are being given an opportunity to be open, comfortable and free to express themselves in my program. With PEACE of Mind I hope to bring light to children in the dark.