‘Sidekicks Anytime’ Offers Artsy Activities to Do at Home

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by Mary Chapman |

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Sidekicks program

With people everywhere hunkering down to avoid the newly identified coronavirus known as COVID-19, the Sidekicks Anytime program is offering creative, at-home activities tailored to people with Parkinson’s disease.

The program is an offshoot of Sidekicks, sponsored by the Davis Phinney Foundation and Lundbeck, a pharma company specializing in brain health. The program brings together youths and those living with Parkinson’s to share stories in ways that promote understanding and personal connection while having fun.

Sidekicks Anytime asks that patients join with a community partner — no age group is specified — to enjoy activities that can be done anytime and anyplace.

Because of COVID-19 infections risks, however, art projects can be completed alone, with an in-house partner, or with another using online services such as Skype or FaceTime. Each project requires specific art supplies.

One project is called Storyprints, which focuses on maintaining a positive outlook through gratitude and in-the-moment reflections on what makes life personally special.

Storyprints calls for participants to use a pencil to trace their hands on a piece of white paper, then label one drawn hand “gratitude.” The other tracing  is labeled “hopes and dreams.” Then, colored pencils or markers are used to fill in each hand with relevant pictures, words or symbols.

The project concludes by asking one another, or simply oneself, questions concerning the activity’s difficulty level, its focus on gratefulness, and its enjoyment factor. Visit this site for a Storyprints video.

Another activity, called Ideascapes, is designed to help build stronger and deeper personal relationships. The idea is to create an “Ideascape” by having a person list their favorite things, places to visit and activities, then using crayons and watercolor pencils to create art — an Ideascape — that best reflects that person. This activity also wraps up with questions. Here’s a demonstration.

Friendship Rocks is the other art project, with a theme of embracing positive social interaction with people of differing habits and thoughts. It involves cutting from magazines words or pictures that make someone think of special people in their lives, the qualities they seek in people, and how having friends makes them feel. The cutouts are then glued to rocks. If working with someone, participants are asked to share stories about important friends in their lives. This activity also ends with a question-and-answer portion. Go here for the corresponding video.

For more information, write to program manager Kayla Ferguson at [email protected] The program’s Facebook page may also be helpful.

An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s, a disease marked by progressive loss of coordination and control over movement.