Check out this fun idea for an impromptu children’s art class.
I was asked to create an hour long project for 30 kids ranging in age from 5 years to age 12. What do kindergarteners and sixth graders have in common??? Yikes!
Oh and next, there’s no existing art room, so if I didn’t mind, could I cart everything I needed for the project?
One hour, 30 kids all different ages and bring everything….yeah ok. Got it!
piece of cake ;)
I don’t know why, perhaps because I watch too many Food Network challenges, but the idea hit me to give each kid a filled up paper bag of materials and challenge each kid to use them. This made sense too, because I had to haul a lot of materials quickly.
The ideas started flowing from there. I made a pit stop at the Rhode Island Recovery Center. This is a place where all RI businesses can recycle anything from their businesses that people may be able to repurpose for education. You never know what strange materials you’ll find and its like 40 cents a pound. I chose the items with a certain theme in mind, divided up all the loot and filled up 30 lunch bags.
I decided to make the entire event a challenge. The bags would be stapled up tight and there would be about 10 secret ingredients within. The kids were also given a piece of light blue mat board and a chunk of self-hardening white clay.
They couldn’t touch a thing until I said “GO!” This created excitement like a race. I finally told them the theme was winter. I got their minds going… What colors come to mind when I say winter? What would you find in a winter environment? What types of animals? Ect…. I handed each kid some wet glue and a glue stick and said “On your mark, get set, GO!!!” And they went at this project like they were on a mission!
In all the mayhem, I think I only photographed the younger kids snowmen, but there was definitely more diversity. There were birds in nests, a narwhale, polar bears and penguins. I scored a bunch of jewelry boxes which were perfect building blocks for dioramas. I also found this 4 foot long silver tinsel at the recycling center which was perfect for icicles.
The moral of this very long story is if your ever stuck in a jam, turn the project into a challenge! The kids were so proud of their ingenuity, they had a great time building and they even enjoyed walking around to see what their peers came up with.
I can see the potential for this in my summer camps. The organizational aspect felt wonderful. All of the chaos was contained and I even challenged them to use the bags!
You’ll have to try this one… We’ll call it The secret bag challenge!
(pardon the grammar and writing – I totally struggled to write this on my phone!)