The opportunity to spend time with some of the children of Future Stars whilst also teaching them a few simple crafts has been so much fun. My first ‘creative arts’ session involved the school children from class 1 to class 5. The second was for all the children who live at the centre.
Class 1 – Scoubidou
Session one took place in the main classroom. I had decided to teach the children to make some scoubidou bracelets. I had honestly thought I chose a fairly simple design that would be easy to demonstrate without too much language. However, we soon all got in a bit of a knot!
I found that teaching a large group was more challenging than I expected. Making the bracelets required attention to the details which proved impossible as those sitting at the back could not see the technique clearly enough.
The situation improved when I began to move around the room, demonstrating to small groups. At this point, most of the children got the hang of the pattern and moved away to work alone.
The lesson continued for a good couple of hours and the children produced a fair number of bracelets. It’s hard to say how many actually looked as they were intended. However, everyone had fun and that was the most important factor.
Class 2 – Loom bands
Session two began after supper in the new hall (details to follow). I went back to loom bands, which the children had enjoyed back in January. I decided to teach a new design, a little more complicated than the previous ones. Again, the initial demonstration was tricky. This time it was as a result of the huge age differences in the group. It was difficult to judge the correct speed for the tuition.
After showing the technique to everyone, I once again joined smaller groups of two or three to review the instructions and ensure the children knew what to do.
We soon had a lot of bracelets and chokers and rings and anklets being produced. I spent quite a lot of time rescuing chains that had ‘fallen off’ people’s fingers and were in danger of unraveling!
The children were so productive that I’m definitely going to need to bring more loom bands on my next trip. Since my first demonstration back in January, they’ve got through about 30,000 bands!
Creative Arts are a hit!
Doing crafts with the children is always great fun and their creativity is amazing. Once they’ve grasped the basic technique, they have no trouble adapting it to make different items in interesting colourways. Praxides and Emmaculate in particular really seem to get an understanding of the principles and this allows them to get creative.
So, when I return on my next trip, I’m definitely going to have to come up with some more craft ideas. We’re a little limited by weight (materials have to fit into my baggage allowance for the flights) and by lack of resources in Kenya. We can’t do anything too messy because the water is simply too scarce and too precious to use on huge amounts on cleaning up. The age differences can also prove a challenge as the centre currently has children from age three to age nineteen. Better get thinking (suggestions appreciated!).