Last Wednesday, at 3:30 pm, I spent time with 10 kids in an after-school program, making miniature food. It was amazing. I’ve never seen time fly by quite so fast before.
I’ll be doing five after-school classes with these kids, on various Wednesdays. The first one was an opportunity to make hotdogs, hamburgers or pizzas. I made prototypes, created kits of clay using sandwich bags and premade sausage, tomato, onion, pickle and green olive slices, which I divvied up into the bags. It was pretty wonderful. Not enough time, as we only got 45 min together, but loaded with activity. (I’ve blanked out their names, for privacy.)
The kids were awesome! I had an age-range of 5 to 10 and no way of knowing which was which. Thank heaven they gave me an assistant. She ended up with three fairly quiet little girls (I suspect one was the five-year-old) and gave them lots of steady attention. I spent my time running between the tables answering questions.
To make it easier for the kids, I also made the foods separately, so they could see what a slice of cheese might look like on its own, what the sauce looked like before it was added to the crust or how the bun looked before it got “toasted” with chalk.
I really want these kids to feel successful, to take pride in what they’ve made. It’s hard, when you haven’t had a chance to play with polymer clay before being thrown into a whirlwind class, but they managed to make the best of it. Some frustration, but hopefully they could see how amazing their pieces are, with so little instruction.
This coming Wednesday is Leaping Lizard Clay Play, in which the kids can choose to make a lizard, frog or turtle. (Turtles are easiest and fun to decorate!)
Hope you’re all doing well and surviving this winter.