Water was our common medium for exploration this week.
What water based camp would be complete without using watercolor? We spent a day exploring different watercolor techniques: wet into dry, wet into wet, washes, wax resist and adding salt. Everyone chose his or her favorite to mount on mat board.
On another day, we made use of some of our beautiful watercolor explorations, by sewing our artwork to cards. Sewing is an amazing challenge for children to accomplish and great fun to watch. Our campers rose to the occasion of working with sharp metal needles, and they took great care while diving into the experience.
We noticed that one of the challenges for children when they sew is that it takes two coordinated movements. They must grasp the needle securely with their fingertips while their arm pushes the hand holding the needle forward into the paper. As adults we often take the ability to do this for granted. We liked sewing on paper because it is stiff and holds its shape, which eliminates the frustrations of working on limp fabric. And, sewing with paper provided immediate satisfaction. All results are beautiful.
Capturing Bubbles - Large Paintings and Prints
Using projected bubbles for inspiration, we filled large pages of paper with marks, following the shapes and lines we saw on the paper.
Then, we used water color to fill the spaces that were created when we drew the bubbles. This was a large piece of work and it required sustained attention and revisiting to fill the page. It was hard work for many friends. With encouragement, we were able to fill our pages. Everyone was satisfied with themselves and proud of their big and beautiful results.
Pallet Water Wall
Throughout the week we worked with balls and tunnels in our workshop. This laid the foundation for later experiences with our pallet water wall. The children were challenged to make water move from one place to another. We connected tubes and bottles with plastic pipes and string to make paths for water. We were challenged by squeezing the detergent bottle valve and focused intently to get the water out. One group worked to make "booby traps for poisonous snakes."
Observing Changes in the State of Water
On several days we observed and experimented with blocks of ice. We checked on our ice throughout the day. We made a hole that went all the way through one block by pouring a small mound of salt on the ice. We noticed that the blocks had shrunk quite a bit by the end of the week. "They got tiny!"
And, we observed another change in water when it became a tasty treat. A friend noted that we made it turn from a liquid to a solid!
Sink and Float Boat Show
After exploring which materials sink and which float, we set off to our construct boats. We started with cork, foam and wire and then we tested our designs. Many friends had created boats that did not float. We contributed ideas to correct our friends' design problems, made adjustments to our boats and named them. On the last day, we had a boat show and tested our boats - AND THEY ALL WORKED!
Our boat names: Speed Boat, Goldy, Rosie, Speedy, Speedy 2, The Fire Truck Boat, The Zach Zach, Fluffy, The Claire and The Celia Willem Mommy Daddy.
At Del Ray's June First (er...third) Thursday, we were outside of our new location in Del Ray with ideas and materials for making upcycled dog toys. Visitors also explored our water wall made from a pallet and reusable items.
At camp this week, we are using water in its many forms as a medium for exploration and creativity.
We gathered today around three large blocks of ice. We touched and moved the ice, and we talked about its properties. Then we added salt and water color to see what effect they would have on the ice.
We also worked in two small groups to explore color mixing on the overhead projector and the concept of sink or float.
Our friends noted that if objects sink, they "go down under the water." Floating objects "stay up." We tested a variety of objects from our reuse collection (including two friends' snack caps) in a bin of water to see which would sink and which would float. Before we tested, we made a prediction.
At the end of our group, we sorted objects by those that sink and those that float. Then we were able to sort those groups by material to generalize what materials sink or float. We found that wood, foam and plastic cups and lids generally float. Fabric, paper, metal and flat plastic tend to sink. We will use this understanding as we sculpt boats later in the week.
In our other group, we explored color mixing on the overhead projector. We used a dropper to mix primary water colors together in a clear tray that was projected on the wall.
We wondered where the green came from. After further investigation we determined that it was a result of the yellow and blue mixing.
Our friends took turns filling the tray on the overhead projector with colors. We discovered that we could make a rainbow with just the three primary colors.
During our exploration time, friends worked in our message center and built pathways for balls out of tubes and boxes.
At our final meeting, we observed our ice blocks again to see if there were any changes. We found that the blocks that we sprinkled with salt were "bumpy" and had "cracks".
Over the week we will build on the experience that we have in class: Our sink and float activity will help inform our boat building. The exploration of balls and pathways lays foundations for thinking about water movement. We will continue to work with watercolors and color mixing. And, we will continue to consider the many forms of water, including one that will provide us with a tasty treat toward the end of the week!
Paper is all around us and is a great resource for creating. Paper can be cut, taped, ripped, folded, glued, marked upon, used to build, made into new paper and much, much more. Here are some of our paper explorations from Paper Power camp.
Workshop Challenge - table to trashcan
Stringing Our Paper Beads
Collage and Computer Keys
Print Plate Making and Printing
Folding and Filling
Collage -- a collaborative effort
We blended the torn paper with water to make pulp. Some friends said we were making paper smoothies.
We collected the pulp and squirted it onto screens. Then we used rags to press the excess water out of our new paper.
We also used an old calendar to make paper beads today.
During free exploration, we tested stamps, worked in our message center, and built structures and pathways for balls out of reusable materials. One friend was interested in making instruments with our containers and loose parts. She made an instrument for everyone in our class, and we explored her creations together at our second meeting.
Kelley & Susan update the blog!