Does it matter what kids do on their summer vacation? After all, they are in school 10 months of the year and most do take some art classes. Don’t they get enough art classes in school?
Creative and artistic are not the same thing. Creativity is an approach to life. Creative thinkers know that problems have many different solutions. When they encounter an obstacle, they find a way around rather than giving up. They have to be willing to take risks as they learn new skills. These are important life skills that need to be encouraged in children.
Summer activities, children's crafts and science projects give children the opportunity to learn and practice these skills. Even if they follow a project guide exactly, they will still to make decisions about shades of colors and where to place items. Once they are familiar with the project, most children will want to make it again. That is when they get really creative. First the colors change, then the shapes, and suddenly it is a new project from their own imagination. Creative projects encourage children to find the resources to make what they want, rather than opening up a box that has all the supplies in one place. The first project in the weekly project list (see below) uses an old knee-hi or pair of pantyhose. What if none are available? Should the children wait until someone else finds all the ‘right’ materials. No, have them start thinking about what they could substitute. Would an old sock work? How about a dish cloth? It is fun to sit back and watch children solve their own problems.
These Summer Activities encourage children to work with a wide variety of materials. One of the best things about summer projects is that they can be done outside. Less mess to clean up!