KEVA (TM) blocks are identically shaped blocks that have a unique ability to balance on top of each other both vertically and horizontally. I saw them at the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York in November and also at the AATA conference in Washington, DC in July. I puchased them with the idea of using them with a variety of people, and I have successfully with children and seniors.
In the opening exercise of the art therapy group at a local senior daycare, KEVA blocks are used to have the seniors I work with to “build a community” and have them connect with the others in their art therapy group at the beginning. The blocks also give them a wonderful sense of physical space, and the space on the table they will have to work with and how physically far away or close they are sitting with the others in their group (patients with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive decline often lose awareness of). We do not do this exercise long. perhaps the first 10 minutes or so until they move onto “proper art making” with traditional materials such as paint and clay.
While it may look like a simple task to us, having the concrete feel of the smooth wooden rectangular blocks gives the clients something to focus on, as well as something smooth to the touch. When the clients connect their blocks together, forming community, they have a greater sense of connection which lasts through the hour long group, and helps them keep relating to each other as much as possible as the group progresses.