Saturday, June 29, 2013

Session 1: Musical Afternoon

As I left the Yellow Group and walked toward my laptop to write this post, I heard lots of little signing voices coming from the ballroom. Investigating, I made my way in to find the Sarah's and their Orange group in the middle of Music and Songwriting, having a blast.

Pauline, our outstanding music teacher/story teller this session, engaged all of the kids in the cultural stories that went along with songs about pulling wheat from the group and making it into bread. They quickly picked up hand motions, clapping, and lyrics that accompanied a story about a grandmother and her grandchildren baking together. Another song they learned was written with the help of the Spanish language and Puerto Rican students from Philadelphia Schools Pauline has visited. The Orange Group learned the melody and positive message of peace while welcoming others into their metaphorical home and clapping along to these catchy melodies.

Boys of the Orange Group pull wheat to make bread.

The boys stand up to sing "Come and to my house and sit at my table, Come into my house I'll make you a feast." to the girls of their group. 
Pauline relayed messages of peace, love, and friendship with the different songs, adding different words, hand motions and finally instruments each time they sang the songs together. Young children have been known to get easily antsy, but in Pauline's music special, they are sad to leave the ballroom.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Session 1, Friday: Sculpture Challenge

This afternoon at Spree, I caught up with Jenna's Yellow Group. They have not forgotten about their underwater books from earlier in the week, but their classroom has gained some new wall decor, and these kids are really getting their creative juices flowing! In addition to working on their books, I came to check in on the Yellow Group as they were starting a Sculpture Challenge.

The supplies for this challenge were every color of construction paper imaginable, scissors, and glue sticks. Campers were asked to think about all of the different ways they could change the construction paper: folding, cutting, ripping, gluing, rolling. The Challenge? Change the paper and combine at least 6 different pieces to make a new sculpture. Eventually, Jenna said, they will work with these methods and make 3D Sea Anemones.
The Yellow Group brainstorms ways in which to alter the construction paper.

And they're off! The Sculpture Challenge is underway. Can't wait to see how these Anemones turn out!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Session I, Day 2: Specials Around CAC

All the kids at Summer Spree love working on the fabulous art projects our teachers design for them, but the CAC also has special time set aside for things like outdoor obstacle courses and Lego Building.

This afternoon, Josh set up an obstacle course outside with colorful cones, a rope ladder, and mini hurdles for the kids to get some energy out weaving in and out of the cones, quick-stepping through the rope ladder, and jumping over the hurdles.
Above & Below: Pied-Piper Josh leads the Red Group through  the  rope ladder and over the hurdles of the course!

I found the Orange Group in the LEGO room beating the heat today with their teachers, Sarah and Sarah. These six- and seven-year-olds love getting out their architectural creative energy with the CAC's huge collection of LEGO's! This room gets tons of use every summer!
Seasoned Summer Spree Campers Finian (Above) and Dean (Below) were excited to show off their LEGO-skills for the camera. 

Session 1, Day 2: Afternoon Watercolors

This afternoon at the CAC sees the Yellow Group and the Teen Studio practicing their watercoloring skills!

Jenna and her yellow group are hard at work on their underwater books. They've made the outside covers from cardboard, fabric, buttons, and other materials, and will fill the pages with their artwork of undersea scenery. Today, I caught up with them while they sketched out scenes and began to fill them with watercolors.
The Yellow Group working with watercolors to make pages of their Ocean Books.
Jane (Yellow Group) getting inspired to sketch her coral reef page .
The teen studio group was hard at work upstairs this afternoon learning all about watercolors, getting some peaceful practice in the third floor studio. Today they got some good advice to "Leave well enough alone" rather than go overboard with additions to their artwork.
Teens get creative with their color gradients.
Can't wait to check out those books, Yellow Group, and these teens are sure to do some beautiful work!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Session I, Week 1: R.O.Y.'s Fun First Morning

The three youngest Summer Spree morning groups, Red, Orange, and Yellow, are off to a great start this morning! All three groups have jump-started art projects and special classes, and have been learning a lot already about our water systems.

Jenn's Red Group, the youngest of the kids at Summer Spree, were already very excited about art camp when I ran into them on the way back to their home base from the garden. They'd just come from digging out the beginnings of the trench along the edge of the garden, and were pumped to get into their cool room and take a group photo with Jenn and their helper, Marisa.

2013's first Red Group. Hard to get five 4-yr-olds smiling at once! (Sorry, Jenn!)

Members of the Red Group cooling off in the AC from the 90 degree heat with some creative necklace making. These big beads are perfect for their little hands!
A year older than the Red Group, I found the Orange Group, with teacher Sarah and assistant Sarah, working on some water colors in their classroom. Using masking tape to secure the paper to the table, the kids did not want to stop mixing and matching colors. The boys would only stop for a second to smile at the camera before, "Sarahhh! Can I have some more paperrr?"

Sarah's Orange Group getting their creativity flowing with some water colors.
The Yellow Group is planning a big project this week to turn a corner of their classroom into the 5 layers of the ocean. When I came in to see them, their teacher, Jenna, was reading them a book called Octopus Alone, about an Octopus travelling around his home near the coral reef. Jenna was getting the kids started thinking about the animals under water such as the Octopus' jellyfish and seahorse friends. After the story, they began to create their own coral reef scenes first in pencil then brought to life with watercolors on watercolor paper, a new material to the children in the yellow group.

Above & Below: Yellow Group outlines their coral reef artwork in pencil.

All three groups and teachers are off to an awesome and art-filled first morning! Keep checking the Summer Spree Blog for updates on the Red, Orange, Yellow, and older groups as the sessions go on!

Session I: Raining Gardens Intro (featuring Nancy Long!)

Summer Spree is off to a great start this summer! The overall theme of 2013's Spree is "Grow with the Flow," and each session a different visiting artist will be interpreting this theme into a piece of art that each Magic Mornings group will contribute to throughout the session.

The first session's artist is Nancy Long, who is the CAC's go-to gardener and storyteller, and an expert environmentalist. She has been teaching Summer Spree classes here for years, and every year there is not a child who doesn't love getting their hands into some dirt after Nancy inspires them with a story about how they can help their friends (of the human, animal, or plant variety) by learning about our ecosystem.

While also rotating through other "specials" such as ceramics or playground time, each group will spend time in the garden. Nancy is getting the kids started working along the outer edges of the gallery, where the most significant amount of rainfall flows into the gardens. She is teaching the kids about rain gardens, and the importance of using plants and soils to slow down the flow of water across the surface of the ground to prevent excess run-off of topsoil and pollutants.

Nancy Long tells Sarah's Orange Group a story about water flow before digging in the garden.
After a short story from the most engaging and interesting story teller we know, the kids follow Nancy around to the garden where they will be digging a trench along the outer edges to promote the flow and filtration of rainwater down further and further into the soil. The kids have a great time getting their hands a little messy, learning all about the water cycles, and helping out the environment. 

Nancy worked mainly with the younger groups today digging out the pathway for water flow, but as the session continues, the older kids will also get involved planting holly, hydrangea, and more plants natural to the area. Can't wait to see how it moves along!