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What I Did On My Spring Break

April 14, 2015

Travel?  No.  This year we offered a Spring Break Art Camp in the studio.  I was joined by a group of wonderful children and artist/instructor, Karen Light of Creative Courage Art.  We dove into a week of “Animal Antics” and Adventures!  Karen created with the kids each morning exploring stories of animal folklore and mythic adventures from various cultures around the world.  Working with a different story each day like Anansi the Spider from the Ashanti in Africa the students created artwork based upon the animal stories and their themes.  From fabric stamping with Adinkra symbols to painted mandalas the projects were varied and fun.

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Karen and I made a great team, as I was able to take the fabric the children had stamped and help them to learn the basics of using a sewing machine to make their own “hibernation pillow”.  In the afternoons each day I explored the themes of Hibernation (and breaking out of it for spring!) and Migration.  We started the week by creating a miniature “hibernation” station.  We embellished it on the exterior with trees, rocks and camouflage and decorated the interior with all of the goodies we would want to snuggle with for the winter.   For the migration segment we stitched fabric birds and built a felted bird’s nest with felted eggs to celebrate spring!  The afternoon activities also included a walk around the neighborhood looking for signs of spring.  And while it was still a chilly week here in Oak Park, we found crocus’ blooming, birds singing and a bunny coming out for a hop!  We played some acting games, playing out the antics of an animal in “charades” fashion and getting the rest of the group to guess what we were.  Antics galore.  (You should have seen the pig rolling in the mud and the monkey eating a banana!)

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As an arts instructor I loved that I could incorporate fiber and mixed media art with story, nature walks and game playing, all “going with the flow” of the student’s interests and energy.  I have found over the years that our programs appeal to and are supportive to a wide variety of children, but especially those who do well in a smaller group setting.  Children who are creative, but need more individual attention do well here in the studio with the types of activities we offer.  One of the children was very interested in snakes and we were able to accommodate this (obsession!) by tailoring our projects to create a variety of snakes and learn more about them.  I love to follow the lead of the children.  Sometimes they know even better than I what would be some fun Spring Break antics!

I have broken out of my winter hibernation and now I am anxious and excited to plan and dream about the summer camp programs Karen Light and I will be offering here in the studio from June through August.  Register now, we have limited space and you don’t want your children to miss out on the “creative antics” coming up this summer!  Our complete list of children’s camps can be found on the Children’s Camps and Classes Page.  See you this Summer~ Ms. Pam

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