Thursday, April 12, 2012

Do-It-Yourself Day

"The only thing I'm hungry for is ART!"--Casey, age 10
The Monday of the public schools' Spring Break, I orchestrated a Do-It-Yourself in the children's department. As previously mentioned, the idea was inspired by this book.

I loved the idea of DIY Day for the following reasons:
1. We could get rid of a bunch of junk from the basement.
2. I am not at all crafty, and the complete lack of my involvement in the actual crafts was appealing to me.
3. We could get rid of a bunch of junk from the basement.

We planned for a come-and-go 3 hours worth of crafts, which actually turned out to be the perfect amount of time. 11am-2pm stretched right through for the before lunch/after lunch crowd. We overlapped an hour with story time, which meant we needed to utilize the homework tables by the Boredom Busters, but I was still glad to do it then. We actually got a lot of kids who might not have come, because their baby siblings were in storytime!

I had originally planned for maybe 20 kids, but ended up, at the end of three hours... with 57 TOTAL. Whoa. It was even a nice day! Go outside and grill various meats!

But still, it was awesome. And it only took an hour worth of actual prep.

I found stuff downstairs that could be turned into crafts, but didn't have any forseeable future use (ie, anything that could be used in Space? Left alone. For the Summer Reading Program, not for my personal forseeable future of a life in Space). This included, but was not limited to: scrapbooking materials (that now can all be done on the Internet; and is no longer popular. Except if you like it, Dear Reader, then yes, it is totally popular, and you should definitely get around to starting that scrapbooking business that you always dreamed. You know, before you start that cupcake business); Troll dolls (which we FINALLY got rid of); Mardi Gras masks and favors (PROTIP: children in Wisconsin literally do not give a single damn about Mardi Gras); Chef Hats (we have a disproportionate amount of these vs. other hats); farmer hats; stray felt and feathers; Harry Potter/Dragon Ball-Z/Easter stickers; and of course, construction paper, markers, scissors, etc.

I started the day with three stations in mind: Make a Disguise (with masks, hats, felt, feathers); Make a Picture Frame (with popsicle sticks, fancy paper, stickers, and scrapbooking items); and Make a Picture/Origami (with scrap paper, pencils, colored pencils, non-fiction drawing books).

By the time we got to the story room (12 noon), these stations were deteriorated into an all out craft fest strewn across all tables. No one seemed to mind. But I still like the idea of starting with some kind of organization, just to get the creative juices flowing.

During all of this, I played on repeat two CDs from my favorite elementary-crowd artists at the moment: Recess Monkey. We have Field Trip and The Final Funktier. The latter will be perfect for all Summer Reading Program activities this summer, so better get it if you don't have it!

This was truly all it took. It was a self-run program, and I just had to check up and make sure everyone was having a good time.

As they left, I asked everyone from the program to pick up 5 pieces of felt/scrap/garbage from the floor. This made my portion of the clean-up about 10 minutes. Here's a link to a few more tricks to get kids to clean up.

Seriously. So let's recap: 70 minutes of prep and tear down. 180 minutes of unadulterated art. 57 satisfied children.
A stealth program that completely blew me away!

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea!
    I have a closet full of "supplies" that may now have a future.