"We didn't realize we were making memories,
we just knew we were having fun"
For me it ticked the box on a few things, not to mention preventing spontaneous play dates at the school gates. Most importantly it allowed for a fixed period of time to focus on my daughter and her friends and think about what artistic activities would be fun and facilitate the joy of art and "I can do that". I also thought of it as a little therapy to keep them ticking along during the transition from the long lazy or fun filled summer days to returning back to school. The girls started putting their two thumbs together to make a "W" sign and took great delight in expressing the 'W' sign as much as the peace sign as you may notice in some of the pictures. We usually finished up with an English hot chocolate drink and a treat and the girls (or my trusted parent helpers) took it in turn helping to hand it all out. The girls had a goal each week to work on together and they felt part of something different, exciting and positive. In the back of my mind I felt it was worth the (sometimes colossal) effort, if it all fostered some positive social and emotional health beyond the classroom. Strong and healthy relationships are so important for social and emotional well being for children, especially as they hurtle towards the tween and beyond years. My relationship with my daughter is close and this brought us even closer and helped her/us to have something positive to focus on each week at a time where that was very much needed. Here’s a rundown of our 12 weeks of Wednesday Club from August to December 2015:
One week the girls thought on their own feet with the left over cups from the bird feeders. They turned them into telephones with the help of some string and had some good old fashioned fun (see the gallery hall of fame below for pics).
In December we decided to finish up the weekly gathering due to my daughters increasingly busy soccer schedule, and Wednesday being her only reprieve in the week. I'm sure there will be the odd reunion from time to time, just not weekly, and I encouraged the parents to take up the artistic gauntlet too.
On reflection, during those weeks it got me thinking about how and why I so easily agreed to this unusual gathering called the Wednesday Club which grew in unexpected popularity. Who and what had shaped my thinking that this was okay and doable... when most other parents were saying "Are you absolutely crazy?" or "Are you sure?", but that is for another blog post on another day. I encourage all parents with children of all ages to form their own artist's club, and explore the joy and wonder of all that is art and the feeling of "I can do that". Just a bit of advice, if you're planning on a group gathering think every step though and be prepared, be well prepared and most importantly, have fun! Here's Luluké's top five list of kids art resources to get you started:
This is a little belated but sending wishes of a fabulous and healthy 2016 to all!