The Shankill Base of the Early Years Project has had a busy and industrious year. In January we held an information day and workshop in the base to introduce 'salt dough'. 'What is salt dough'?, I hear you cry! Well, it is simply flour based dough with the addition of salt. The dough can be coloured with waterbased paint or food dye. It can then be used for all ages for play purposes or developing crafts.
The workshop was a huge success. Ten parents and children attended and all had a creative and fun day. In response to the workshop, I decided to run a four week course on creative ideas with salt dough. Fourteen parents and their children attended on the first day and while the children rolled, patted, thumped and stretched the dough, the parents created all sorts of artistic pieces. The collection included flower baskets, bears, fruit bowls, hats and children's name plates.
The crafts class provided an opportunity for Project Workers to encourage parents to attend an event in the community and enabled them to build relationships and friendships with other parents. During the course of the class I watched self esteem and confidence growing within the group as individuals had self realisation of their own potential. The children too had great fun and played really well together.
The Project Workers and myself were amazed at the outcome in terms of personal achievement, group support and interaction and due to the positive feedback we are running another class in the near future.