Published 28.03.2023
by Kids’ Own

Hearts and Minds Project – a creative exploration with Down Syndrome children

In 2022, after many delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kids’ Own and Down Syndrome Sligo collaborated to create the Hearts and Minds Project – a series of creative sessions that allowed children with Down Syndrome to express themselves make their creative voices heard.

On the day, with guidance from Kids’ Own Associate artist’s Sarah Lundy and Alex MacNaughton, the group of children and young people were invited to explore the creative world where they could play and express themselves. The workshops were full of colour, texture and multi-sensory materials. Sarah’s artistry celebrates the wonder of nature, bringing together an exciting combination of plants, leaves and taxidermy animals for the children to experience and respond to.

“The experience for me was a very rich one” “I chose taxidermy specimens from my collection:the owl  and a pair of red squirrels, as well as choosing a plethora of vividly coloured plants……I hoped this would provide both textural as well as tonal variation and invoke a range of tactile response”  –  SARAH LUNDY



hand of child drawing on pink piece of paper
Child's hands holding piece of art they created.
Child's hands drawing on blue paper


Alex said of the day “The children who attended were such a joy to be around. Even though the activities planned were the same, every workshop was completely different based on individual needs”

The fruits of this collaboration were documented in an informative foldout publication exploring how best to let these amazing children showcase their artwork. And of how we can fully and meaningfully listen to, hear and respond to children and young people with Down Syndrome about their emotional wellbeing. If you would like a copy of this publication please email [email protected]

This project was kindly funded by the Banks of Ireland Begin Together grant and The Community Foundation for Ireland.

You can read more about our creative projects with Down Syndrome children here.

Hearts and Minds Project leaflet for Down Syndrome Children's art project with Kids' Own in Sligo