Wish upon a star and make yourself an angel…
1 December 2010
Two of my favourite Art Workshops from the recent series I worked on with primary school children, (on the theme of Recycling and using alternative materials…) were ‘Wishes Upon Stars’ and ‘Angels’.
Both workshops were with groups of younger children, ranging in age from 5 years to 7 years old. They’re a challenging bunch of course, as at this tender age, the attention span tends to be rather limited! However what they may lack in focus they make up for in boundless enthusiasm. It’s just a question of recognizing that and channeling it, and away you go! These workshops were serious FUN.
My first group cut out giant stars from recycled packaging cardboard, which they then wrapped in paper mache and painted gold and silver. Each child wrote out a wish on a simple luggage tag which would then hang on string underneath their star. The wishes were all something to do with their environment to fit in with our workshop theme. Wishes ranged from ‘ I wish people wouldn’t eat animals’ to ‘I wish people would remember to turn taps off!’.
The whole group’s stars were then strung along a long pole creating our very own simple but powerful Art Installation. Fantastic.
My second group, the younger of the two, enjoyed sticking giant sheets of newspaper together, lying on it and then drawing around each other to create body shapes. These were fundamentally the ‘Angels’ but were further transformed by large cardboard Wings, covered in bubble wrap ‘feathers’.
The newspaper Angels, displayed along with the hanging stars created an overall body of work that looks great and has attracted much positive feedback. These simple Art challenges have proven to me that it’s the initial ideas that are the important part of the process when trying to create Art with children. Keeping things simple and allowing individuals to work confidently and enthusiastically within a larger group on small tasks can yield absolutely fantastic results.