What a fun day to kick of the new school year! PTNJ was hired by a mom who was throwing a birthday party for her six year old daughter, Liliana. She chose the Drop-In and craft option, which is our loosely guided approach to crafting. The kids can come and go as they please, make their craft and scamper off to other areas of the party and they aren't restrained to sitting down for a certain amount of time. For this party, Liliana chose two crafts for entertainment so her guests had an option - The Kids Real Selfie and The Unicorn Kit. I would say by the kids reaction they couldn't wait to get started!
To our surprise, they all wanted to craft at the same time and came in a big wave of enthusiastic energy! Most of the girls (about eight or so) wanted to make a unicorn and about three kids wanted to make a selfie. Samantha was on the unicorn side and managed to hold the attention of all the girls and help them as they put their unicorns together. I was on the selfie side and had 2 boys and one girl interested.
One observation Samantha and I continue to make about our kids selfie is not only does it open up creativity, but it also promotes self esteem. In the end, the kids feel so good about themselves because they have been given the ability to plan out and create their own self portrait. Each characteristic is carefully chosen - their nose, eyes, mouth, face shape, hair etc and they are able to put all the pieces together all by themselves to get the end result. They become so proud of their creations! I had one boy, approximately age 6 who made himself into a robot! Wow, that was such a treat to see such creativity and imagination! His little brother (age 2 1/2) thoroughly enjoyed the gluing portion of the project and loved adhering his face pieces! He was so happy with his work - he loved his selfie! Their dad enjoyed the craft as well and loved helping his kids. At one point, I thought he would've enjoyed making his own! The girl in my group was so adorable and thought long and hard how she could make a headband for her selfie. After we discussed it, the end result was too cute! By the end, she became my little buddy.
It has been so rewarding for us to see how creative the kids are and how they transform their art piece into something truly unique. No two unicorns or selfies were alike today and I didn't see one child try to see what the other is doing! They are so interested in making their very own designed craft and know they have the flexibility to do that with the wide variety of colors and shapes we prepare. Even though the space was a little tight with two craft choices, it all turned out fine because it encouraged the kids to practice patience and sharing. Most of the time, it was an eye opener to watch the kids help one another, share our tools and encourage each other with their projects. Overall, we'd say it was a total success and hope the kids had as much fun as we did!
Happy 6th Birthday Liliana!