I have a little back blogging to do, since I didn't get a chance to blog out VBS before we went on vacation.
I was in charge of crafts. And I feel need to reinvent the curriculum. I want the kids to take home something that their moms will like to look at and won't feed Clutter Monsters or get thrown in the garbage out of Clutter frustration. And to me, the curriculum does do just that. It certainly doesn't spark any creativity. I just couldn't do essentially busywork with the kids. Okay, soapbox over.
What I came up with was more Art-y than Craft-y, but that was fine. I also had to come up with something that would work for 2-12yos. Now, I pretty much owe everything to The Artful Parent blog and MaryAnn Kohl books. Both fantastic resources that I utterly depend on in my daily life. So I basically got all my ideas from there. I was happy with what I came up with.
This was actually really practical. I ordered a bunch of blank canvas totes from the internet and had the kids decorate them with fabric pastels and markers. Then they had a handy bag for carrying around all their VBS detritus, and a useful souvenir of the week, too. We just used Marlowe's at the library yesterday.
Bubble wrap printing. I though this would be great for the younger kids. I tried to think of another printing project for the older kids, but nothing was really working. I have to keep things pretty simple due to limited time and resources. So I ended up doing this for everyone, and they all loved it! I let the older kids squirt their own paint on their paper plate so they could experiment with color, but the youngers just chose one color.
Last year I collected old Tshirts from around church, and we use those as art smocks. I slit up the back, and we do a quick safety pin. Works really well. I also have dish pans full of soapy water right at our work station for quick cleaning of hands. We protect the tables by taping down plastic party tablecloths.
I figured I could pass off wax resist paintings as magic to the 1st graders. I was unprepared for how excited the older kids got over this. I didn't even try to do the whit crayon part resist with the 2-3yos (maybe at home--but in that setting, too chaotic). They stuck stickers that they could paint over. I made several cups of liquid watercolor, and that worked pretty well.
This was perhaps the awesomest yet. Tissue paper stained glass. Perhaps a bit more intense on the setup end of things. We taped down contact paper sticky side up. The kids then stuck the tissue paper on and we covered with contact paper. Then the older kids decorated with sharpie. (See this book a la Artful Parent) The kids loved this and really got into it.
And I loved covering the windows with their finished project.
For the last day, we needed something super easy, quick,and simple. Beads + lanyard. The perfect campy craft.
I was really happy with how things turned out. I don't have any background in art--heck, I never even had an art class in school. But I've learned a lot from the blogosphere and my personal interests. I loved making a creative space for the 40+ kids that week. There was such great variety.