One thing I am always looking for is an inspired arts program for the kids. We found just that at Collage Studio -- a summer camp program by Studio Creative Play. The director Khahtee, as well as all the teachers and counselors she hires, are so full of ideas when it comes to creating open ended activities for the kids...they really let their imaginations run wild. It was our second summer at the camp and we loved every minute of it.
A couple weeks ago, when I dropped of Bea at camp in the morning, there was a group working together to make long tubes out of tightly rolled newspaper and colored tape. Later that day, at pick up, I found that they had created a room sized sculpture from all the tubes. Strings had been hung from the ceiling and draped to the edges of the room, and the tubes had been added forming all sorts of things...Bea pointed out the "castle" she had made, as well as a "bridge" that she and Lila had helped with. It really went on and on, and I could just imagine the kids having a blast turning the whole room into one big creation.
I thought that this project would be fun to try at home so we gathered some old newspaper and I pulled out some rolls of colored tape I had stashed away. Sure enough, everyone was intrigued.
I should not have been surprised to see that the boys immediately made weapons...
Thankfully, I had Lila to show them other possibilities! She can really get into this kind of project, and in true Lila form, she set to work making a house-like construction. It soon became clear that the porch where we were working was not the right setting. We all agreed that her creation would be even better hanging under a tree. That was a sure fire way to get Oliver to abandon his weapons and scurry outside, up into the tree, to help secure the sculpture.
I really love this kind of activity...it encourages creativity and teamwork and can easily take up hours, or even spread over a few days. In this case I liked the end result...the hits of color from the tape and the look of the newspaper were really great...but even when the final product is less than beautiful the kids have so much fun making it, and that is all that really matters.