Leaf Wreath Memories!
Remember lovingly in an autumnal way the people, places and things that have passed from your life
What you’ll need: A piece of cardboard cut out into a doughnut shape (as the basis for the wreath) or a paper plate with the middle cut out, pen or pencil, glue, autumn leaves, and any other decorative natural or craft objects you would like to use.
What’s it for?
This activity will help you to appreciate the things that you have lost and remember them in a nice way. It’s important to recognise that all things have a lifespan and to spend time thinking about, remembering, and honouring the things that have passed from your life as they’re an important part of who you are now. This might be a very profound loss such as losing a person close to you, or a pet, but it could be about a friend that has moved away, losing a favourite toy, or a fantastic family holiday that you went on.
Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
Collect different dried autumn leaves when you are outside. Make sure you have a good selection of leaves of different sizes, shapes and autumn colours. You might also like to find some dried seed pods, acorns, or conkers to use.
On your ring of cardboard write down some of the things that you’d like to honour by remembering. Try to incorporate something about why they were important to you. For example: Hammy (my pet hamster), you liked to run on your wheel and nibble seeds from my fingers; or, Floppy (my first childhood ragdoll), you used to make me feel safe, and I used to like to take you everywhere until you just became a bunch of material held together by a safety-pin.
Cover what you’ve written by sticking over the leaves and objects you’ve collected until you’re happy with how everything looks.
Find a place to put your wreath up. Traditionally, wreaths are hung on doors at special occasions such as Christmas, or Thanksgiving. Perhaps you could ask an adult to hang the wreath up for you on a door at home, or find a place for it your wall.
Extra Activity: With an adult that cares for you, discuss some of the people, places and things that you included as the basis for your Leaf Wreath.
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
Did you learn anything new about yourself while you did this activity?
How did it feel to explore your memories of things that have passed away?
Why do you think autumn leaves are a good way to remember losses?
If you showed your Leaf Wreath to someone, how did they react?
Did you find any other interesting natural treasures when you went out searching for leaves (like pine cones, acorns, or conkers)?
This activity helps you to explore your feelings about people, places, and things passing. Endings are an important part of life and, although sometimes feeling painful, reflecting on them and the beautiful aspects of the relationship can really help you identify what’s important to you.
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?
If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures (email@example.com). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Ian Grundy © November 2020
Creative Arts Used: Art, Creative Writing
Psychological Areas Explored: Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing, Self-Exploration
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These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.
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