As a mom, I have two personalities: Regular Mom, and Summer Mom. Since Summer Mom is in charge right now, I have this thing where I don’t want to overbook my kids in the summer. There are lots of reasons, but most of those are more about me than them (Summer Mom is kinda selfish).
Regular Mom realizes we still have responsibilities. She knows the laundry still has to get done, and life still carries on with or without the school schedule, but she’s no match for Summer Mom once the calendar reads JUNE. Summer Mom longs for the lazy days of summer.
Summer Mom needs the smell of sunscreen and chlorine to feel whole.
I plan out our days loosely, but I want to leave plenty of room for the spontaneous fun that summer can bring. So, while Summer Mom is in charge, we’re not exactly camp-hopping over here. But Regular Mom still needs time to get something (ANYTHING) done. And of course deep down I do want the kids to have at least some kind of experience they can reference when the inevitable “What Did You Do This Summer” question comes up. This summer, Art Camp was what we chose. My kids spent last week at the Creative Kids Camp with the Cultural Alliance of South Walton, and it was such a big hit, I just had to share!
I decided I’d give you a behind the scenes look at what my kids got into, and 3 reasons why they LOVED the Creative Kids Camp.
In case your Summer Mom mentality has you reluctant to schedule in summer, here are a few reasons you might want to give the Creative Kids Camps a try:
It’s Held In The Gallery : The camps are held in the Foster Gallery. It must have felt a little like a Trust Fall for the gallery to open those doors up to the kiddos (bull in a china shop, anyone?) but the kids were great. They spent time learning gallery etiquette, exploring the art, finding inspiration in the paintings, and more. One day they met an artist and were actually allowed to touch the art. My daughter has been talking about the flowers she touched ever since. (“They’re 3D mommy!”). There’s another room where the art projects are carried out, but the kids get quite a bit of gallery time!
They’re Learning New Techniques: Let’s face it, as much as I adore Pinterest (um, mucho), and as much as I love a good watercolor sesh, there’s just a limit to what I can teach them formally about art. There’s also a self-imposed limit on my Michael’s spending. In art camp they’re learning fundamental techniques I wouldn’t even know to teach (like what happens to oil pastels when you use an eraser on them), with supplies I don’t have to buy. And they’re learning from someone who’s not me, which is valuable because my tendency to take over an art project is well-documented.
It’s Hands-On : Art is not all drawing and coloring, and the camp techniques aren’t either. There were some projects using model magic clay to make 3D sculptures, and weaving paper in another project. Working in different mediums is great for their art education, and also fun for kids who may not be that into drawing or painting. I also noticed my kids had an even greater sense of accomplishment over those 3D projects.
Those are a few of the reasons my kids loved it, but me? I LOVED having all the art come home and not having to clean up one bit of it. I adore kids’ art. I especially love messy art…I just don’t love cleaning it up. I want them to really dig in and explore their creativity, just not anywhere near my floors. The best projects often involve making messes that I just don’t have the heart for (so. much. glitter.). At the Creative Kids Camp they can make it rain glitter all over the paper-covered tables in the art room, and Summer Mom is not stuck sweeping up glitter until Christmas. It’s a win-win.
If you’re interested in more information, and/or signing up, you can find the schedules and sign up links right here. Camps run weekly through July 27 (not during the week of July 4th) and are divided by age groups. You provide a snack, they provide the rest!