Purple Twig- Art Exploration for kids. A mom run small business in Los Angeles. Stop by to see the trials and tribulations.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Building a Fort

This last week during our Gimme Shelter week at camp we transformed a few bamboo beams and pieces of fabric into magical shelters are houses,  hide-outs,  tents,  castles or caves. Making forts is an opportunity for our campers to work together collaboratively building a dwelling under a shady tree during a hot summer day.

Through the tactile interactions with materials, the kids learned basic construction techniques of using rope to build and bind. We taught the kids some utilitarian knots that are essential for building a free-standing fort. 

Using the double knot and fabric strips some of the kids made a garland for the tops of the fortresses. Some of the kids hadn't learned to tie a double knot yet so some older campers took advantage of the opportunity to teach the younger ones this knot. 

The colorful garland really added some whimsy to our skeletal structure. 

Next we added the fabric, discussing ideas and asking questions of what the structure might need for fortification and privacy. 

Windows are a nice idea.

 When the structures were finished they immediately became inhabited spaces where the mysterious and sophisticated work of playing began. Collaboration of another sort took place through the positive imaginative play. They were making plans, creating strategies, sharing and discussing.

To reenforce the idea of communication we also made tin can phones by decorating old soup cans and tying string between the two. We thought this would be the perfect pairing with building forts. Not only were they great little objects, they actually worked.

It was a good old fashion afternoon of playing and creating.

Happy Building!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Flying Messages

This week in our Art Colony Summer camp we are exploring the idea of transportation from water travel to land travel but beginning with air travel. Today we talk about hot air balloons. How they work, what you might see. I didn't think that using actual fire and paper to make hot air balloons was safe with children so we used helium balloons.

Using the helium balloons to think about both transportation and communication in a new way, we created a simple project that is appropriate and exciting for many ages.  Each child chose a balloon. They then wrote out secret messages or drawings with a note on the back to send responses the the Purple Twig.  

Some kids wrote out messages along with drawings asking the receiver to make and return a drawing to us. Some kids just wrote something about themselves or just made a drawing to share. 

We then rolled up the messages and tied them to the balloon ribbons. 

We took a hike through the neighborhood to find a good spot to release our messages.

The kids were so excited with anticipation as they wait to release the balloons. And then it happened. They opened their hands and the balloons began to rise. The excitement was contagious as they screamed and danced with delight.

It really was a beautiful sight to watch the dots of bright colors fly higher and higher and get smaller and smaller. We watched them until we couldn't see them anymore.  We are now waiting hopefully for a response.

Happy Flying!!