We start our trip around the world on the Asian continent and our first stop is the vast and diverse country of China!
Even before we got into the studio my older campers were checking out the map mural and trying to point out continents... and let's just say the definitely learnt a lot LOL!
Once they came in to set the mood we took in a small part of this dance troop so they could get an idea of what they were in for! Last year I actually took my then 5 year old daughter to see this very same dance troop at SAPA (a free concert put on by the Ministry of Culture and the Chinese Embassy) and they were amazing, so I was thrilled to find them on YouTube. Unfortunately we couldn't watch the entire thing but we skipped through so they could get an essence and they were really stunned at the liveliness of the music! I think they had an entirely different idea of what Chinese music would be like.
After this little interlude I got them to settle back down, because let's face it you put that on you have to expect some kind of a ruckus lol, then we got down to hearing a few fun facts about China! We found China on the world map outside my door and talked about it's size, it's geography and it's people. We talked about what the Chinese like to eat and what their traditional dress and even homes look like. Then they took a look at this really great little video. It's loaded with facts and really did a good job of covering lots of aspects in a style that is easy to understand!
With our heads full of all these great facts on China, we then turned to our art project for the day! The older Imaginators were introduced to the Chinese art of scroll painting and they looked at a few different samples. I gave them two ideas, the first was to paint a pagoda or traditional Chinese building and the second was to paint a traditional Chinese landscape. Then I got out my materials and they got down to creating their very own scroll painting! One boy took his in an entirely different direction and used the Chinese style of using the vertical length but he drew elements that he picked up from the video. So you can see a pagoda, some bamboo a bridge connecting parts of the silk road and even a table with a bowl of rice! They are all simply beautiful :)
My younger Imaginators made some very vibrant Chinese dragon masks! Before we got down to making them I gave them a bit of context and asked them if they thought dragons were real or imaginary. I think the jury is still out for some of my little ones lol.. but I tried to convince them that dragons are mystical (which means imaginary but also magical) in Chinese culture.
They are special to the Chinese because they represent good luck and the Chinese believe they have control over water... so rain or drought is brought about by the dragon world. So these dragons are thought of as good, not the scary fierce fire-breathing ones from the movies... and after I filled their heads with visions of smiling friendly dragons bestowing rain and general good luck on people I whipped out my dragon head templates!
Each child got a Dragon print and they painted and decorated them to suit themselves! They added strips of coloured paper and glitter... because well why not! Take a look at them in action!
Check out what they did at The Reading Garden.
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)