art, summer camp

What I Learned At Summer Camp – Part 1

Week 1 and 2 of my little art camp have flown by, and I’ve been meaning to blog about the experience, but to be honest, it has just been one task too much for me.

My days have started at 6.00am and involved getting myself ready, getting my kids ready, getting four sets of lunches and snacks packed for the day (while dealing with cries of “Eww! I don’t like that yoghurt” and “SHE likes blueberries and bananas, I ONLY like apples!!”), gulping down a cold breakfast, and then limping to my car with a five year old holding onto my leg wailing, because his sister is leaving with me.
My action packed day with the campers ends around 5.00pm, and then my attention shifts to my kids, their swim practice, dinner, hiding the fart gun, and bedtime.I have been a little tired.

Having said that, I think I am building up some resistance to my increased levels of activity, and should be back blogging regularly by next week.

I was thinking of writing about what the kids did over the last weeks, but then I thought I would switch things around a bit and tell you about…

…WHAT I LEARNT AT CAMP (important lessons, my friends)!! :

  1. Never, NEVER forget the Band Aids when you go outside. Don’t even think about it, just don’t.
  2. When playing Apples to Apples, be literal. Irony doesn’t work for 4th graders.
  3. Vintage Sesame Street animation did not impress this generation at all. They found it too simple, and complained about the poor screen resolution (philistines).
  4. The older kids will insist that they are too old for it, but the moment I start reading aloud to the campers, there is a pin drop silence, and intense concentration on their faces. They love being read to (awww).
  5. Printmaking, any type of printmaking makes kids super happy.
  6. Cleaning up after print-making has the opposite effect on them.
  7. The calmest moment of all was when I gave the kids a pack of cards and asked them to build a house of cards. I have never seen them so focused and determined for so long – definitely doing that again.
  8. A couple of spray bottles of water and a box of sidewalk chalk are great things to have during outdoor breaks.
  9. Kids love to teach, and they are good at it. I learnt to throw a football the correct way, pitch a baseball, hold a cricket bat better, play Capture the Flag and Wall ball. Next week they are going to teach me about Minecraft and paper airplanes.
  10. If you start a conversation with a 3rd/4th grader about Percy Jackson, you had better be ready to give up about an hour of your time, and don’t even think about glazing over – they’ll catch you at it.
  11. Vigilance is key during lunch times. Elementary school kids will eat their lunch and all their snacks at once, then cry because their stomach hurts, then spend the rest of the day saying “I’m staaarving, my mom/dad didn’t pack me enough food!” 
  12. Bodily functions – that is what humor is all about for these kids. The fart gun keeps them laughing uncontrollably for long periods of time, and who am I to complain?

Now for the (very amateur) pictures:

More next week!

About Author

Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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