Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sensory Kits in the Occupational Therapy Workshop!

The HALO Learning Center recently incorporated a class led by two Occupational Therapy students. These students are from Metropolitan Community College, and they are working toward completing their capstone projects. Because of this HALO and our youth have had the opportunity to learn about and apply occupational therapy.
In a recent workshop, the occupational therapy students helped HALO youth make Sensory Kits! Sensory kits are bags that can contain any type of object or material that can help relieve stress or teach someone to self-soothe. Youth were able to decorate their bags, then fill them with small stuffed animals, stress balls, pens with small journals, healthy snacks, and more. One interesting artifact included is called a fidget, a squishy ball that helps with focus.
Youth also made a sensory bag, which can act as a different form of stress ball. The sensory bags were ziplock bags filled with hair gel, glitter, and small beads or buttons with a variety of textures. After the bags are sealed and glued shut, youth can roll them around in their hands to feel the different textures. This is meant to help with focus and calming.
To see the different sensory kits and sensory bags made by HALO youth, scroll through the pictures below!
For more information on how YOU can help improve the quality of life of homeless and at-risk youth, visit us at or like us on Facebook!
Decorating a sensory kit!

A glitter-filled sensory bag next to one youth's sensory kit.

A decorated sensory kit!

Work in progress! Lots going on as these youth create their bags.

One youth works on a hail gel-filled sensory bag.

Other components included in the creating of these kits.

Another completed sensory kit, including a healthy snack!
Glitter for a sensory bag!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Therapeutic Yoga at HALO-KC!

Recently, the HALO Learning Center has been incorporating a class led by two Occupational Therapy students from Metropolitan Community College. These students are working toward completing their capstone project, and this has given HALO and our youth the opportunity to learn about and utilize occupational therapy.
Occupational therapy consists of a variety of components meant to improve an individual’s overall quality of life. It can involve a number of activities, and recently HALO youth were able to participate in yoga and Mindfulness Meditation led by the occupational therapy students. Both of these exercises are relaxing, calming, and can help relieve stress. Scroll through the pictures to see youth trying out some of the yoga poses!
HALO is really excited about the contribution by the occupational therapy students and the opportunities they provide for our youth. For more information on how YOU can help improve the quality of life of homeless and at-risk youth, visit us at or like us on Facebook!
Youth and volunteers warm up with this fairly simple pose.
Warrior II Poses!
Youth and volunteers give the Tree Pose a try.
An Occupational Therapy student works on one youth's form while others hold a Warrior II Pose.
Warrior I Pose in action!
A room filled with focus and serenity.
Youth have the chance to stretch their cores!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Insight and Relaxation - Occupational Therapy Comes to HALO!

The HALO Learning Center has been given the exciting opportunity to have two Occupational Therapy students from Metropolitan Community College complete their capstone project with HALO! Occupational therapy involves a variety of components, but is meant to improve the overall quality of life for the individual.

These two students will be bringing different Occupational Therapy activities to the HALO Learning Center for our youth to try, such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, making aromatherapy eye pillows, make stress relief kits, and more! Scroll through the pictures to see our first night of activities, where youth learned about aromatherapy, sewing eye pillows, and made collages on pizza boxes that represented their outside self and internal self. It was a night full of insight and relaxation!

For more information on how YOU can help improve the quality of life of homeless and at-risk youth, go to or like us on Facebook!

Youth find pictures that represent their inside self and outside self. 

This youth incorporated nature and positive words to her "outside self" collage.

Collaging away!

This youth found pictures of cars for his collage.

Youth also learned to make aromatherapy eye pillows with rice, flax seed, and essential oils! This youth gets ready to sew her eye pillow shut. 

Finishing touches.

Learning to sew! 

Check out next week's post for more about how the youth are discovering mindfulness and meditation!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wrapping Up August!

For the month of August, HALO youth have been learning about and practicing CONFIDENCE – an extremely important life skill!
At the beginning of the month, HALO youth had a blast with building their confidence during the 5th Annual Youth Fashion Show. Since then, throughout the month of August, youth have continued to work on their self-esteem in various art workshops through a variety of projects. They have also learned about the importance of inspiring confidence in others, and have had opportunities to practice doing this as well.
One art project provided an opportunity to practice building up one another’s confidence, through the making and sharing of Confidence Cards! Each youth was given colorful paper and all manners of brightly colored paints, markers, and glitter. The instructions were simple – make and decorate a card for each person in the room, and write things that will help to build or inspire confidence. Scroll through the pictures below to see what a few had to say. HALO youth enjoyed receiving kind words and the opportunity to make others happy, and HALO staff enjoyed seeing the positive effects and boosts in confidence!
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E.E. Cummings
“For every dark, there is a brighter day.”
“You are loved, worth it, and unique. You are you.”
One youth has utilized a very effective attention-grabber for this card.
Simple, but reassuring: “Life is good.”
True words that are sure to inspire confidence; “You are awesome.”