29th June to 19th July is Children’s Art Week, a UK-wide programme run by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education. In fact, as the eagle-eyed among you have noticed… it’s actually three weeks, with each week dedicated to a different topic. Week one is all about the Natural World and this is something we’re particularly passionate about here at Playforce HQ.
The nice people at Engage have created some wonderful activity cards for you to get involved and you can download them for free here. They’ve also provided lots of good tips for planning your Children’s Art Week activities.
Here is a selection of our top products and ideas for taking this activity outdoors and getting arty in the great outdoors.
Taking art and creative drawing outdoors doesn’t have to be complicated. We have a number of creative drawing boards as part of our Ready to Play range, including our Animal Weaving and Drawing Board and our Creativity Table (which can also come with Infills). If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, however, why not consider a summer installation of our Creative Drawing Stage and involve the children in watching the installation process (and maybe documenting it through photos and drawings of their own)?
One of the best ways to learn from nature is to grow plants - and in particular your own food. Not only are our planters great for getting children involved in gardening our Seating Planters are particularly useful for organising socially distant drawing sessions - getting children drawing plants and flowers at all different stages of development.
Of course learning from nature wouldn’t be complete without a reference to our Mini Beast Habitat and Mini Beast Exploration Table. What’s great about these is the opportunities they present to get really close to creepy-crawlies and drawing them (and the many wonderful colours and shapes within them). The Mini Beast Exploration Table is particularly good for this because it combines a rotating table top underneath three magnifying glass lenses, that can hold six di?erent samples.
Our Natural Sensory Classrooms are really rather wonderful for natural world art classes. There is space for 15 children to sit on the benches (or fewer during social distancing). A sandpit base (with cover) gives opportunities for imaginative and exploratory play and you can even include a moveable shade roof (to provide protection from the sun), hammock and musical chime and xylophone panels. Planting beds soften the structure and the size and shape of the planting beds means that children can touch the flowers, bend to smell them and sit by them while they draw. A list of suitable sensory plants are provided with vouchers to purchase your chosen plants, making this an idea project for school councils, parents associations or gardening clubs.
We’d love to see you drawings from the natural world so please send them in via our Facebook page. And don’t forget… Here at Playforce we’re working hard to help schools keep on top of routine maintenance as well as summer installations. If you’d like to discuss the ways we’re doing this, as well as all the ways your children can still benefit from watching their playground rebuild take shape, please contact us today. We still have a few slots left for summer installations… but they’re going fast!