Thursday, February 5, 2015

Creating scenes - a NEW craft project with kids

Now lets get back to blog, right?

Here's the appetizers: a new volunteering project I've started this year at a local school.

It's a weekly project where we get crafty with kids and create lots of fun things. Simple things. Recycled things. Natural materials and not so natural (like plastic caps), as long as they are recycled.
So that's about the crafting part. But that's not all.

Actually my concept was to pick up a tale, like each time a small short fairy tale, and create a scene, based on this tale - a background, some objects for midfield and playing objects (dolls, or animals or vehicles) for the foreground.

We have about one hour weekly and that's pretty loooong for smaller kids (8-9 y.o.) to only "craft" at a one long project. Making a "scene" lets us get crafty on a fair amount on smaller, shorter different steps that keep kids busy, and (almost) pretty well concentrated through the session.

That was in the theory. Practically we don't take tales right now, we're just creating "a situation".

Like aircraft in the sky, or field cars on a sunny day, or animals in jungle.

We normally start with making a background - like here a "jungl-ish" one. It takes all in all about up to twenty minutes. More on this in a separate post later. I'll explain more and give you more examples. That's pretty interesting, and it's well worth a post.

Then we will probably finish something from the previous session as long as the background dries nearby.

After that I'd normally ask some questions, practical questions, like: "Hey, here's what looks like a piece of wood (normally being a piece of paper). Can you imagine making a car out of this piece, with as few cuts as possible? "

After about five to ten minutes of playing and trying and cutting I'd show the samples, and we'd discuss what we shall use and find the materials in my supplies. And we craft.

That's the core business, and it takes about twenty minutes as well. Sometimes a bit longer.

If we're lucky, we'd finish five minutes before the bell rings, and we'd play around. Which is sometimes tricky, because honestly some pieces need to dry, glue needs to set and so on. In a perfect world we'd take them back the next time and play around at the very beginning. In a real world, the kids are impatient to see what comes next and what new project is awaiting.

It's new, and fresh, and not set, and it's working out a bit differently as I've expected, and it is not quite following the path - which is maybe for good. We'll see. It's lot of work, lot of fun, and very much learning by doing. I'll keep you posted on new sessions!