By: Sara LangworthyOne thing I definitely never thought my job at the University of Minnesota would entail is painting a labyrinth on an elementary school wall.
I'm not very artistically inclined. But thanks to the two College of Design students Emily Devore and Rachel Grothe, who were kind enough to share their skilled sketch, we were able to project the image on the wall and trace it freehand in a soothing peach color.
You can see the process and end result in this cool time-lapse video:
The purpose of the labyrinth is to give children who are having a difficult time dealing with their feelings something calming and tactile. There are numerous examples of labyrinths being used as therapeutic calming tools for adults and children alike. On this wall labyrinth, children can use their fingers to trace their way through the labyrinth as a way to focus and calm their minds and bodies. Or they can gaze on it's maze-like pattern to refocus their minds when they feel upset.
Tomorrow we'll work on another wall, but for now, I'd just like to gaze a bit longer at our handiwork.
Special thanks to the Saint Paul School District painting staff for giving us freshly painted blue walls to use as our canvas. Thanks to Marie Aguirre, Nora Fox, and Judy Myers for sharing your labyrinth painting skills.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Learners is an ongoing partnership between the Extension Children, Youth, and Family Consortium and the Bruce Vento Elementary School. Together, along with many other partners, we are developing engaging learning environments that promote student learning and wellness.