What we created on our leafy expedition!

Oh what a wonderful week we had! Our very first holiday event of the year at our new home base was marvellous! The group project for the week was creating a stop motion film inspired by the element of earth. It was our fourth stop motion film – we have been making one a year based on a different element.

The process of creating the film took time – the group first brainstormed potential story ideas, presented possible outlines to one another on the first day and then voted on which story line they liked the most. Daniel Robinson played a very important part in this process – helping the children be creative using pictures from the newspaper. The story that was selected, “Bad Tunes”! Here is the basic story line: There is a tree called Fred, whose territory in invaded by a band that plays bad tunes. In desperation Fred (the tree) calls for help. He is assisted by Toby the worm, who farts upon arrival and thus is born, Pete the fart! Toby kidnaps the band and takes them to the place, an industrial site, where he grows big and eats the band. Inside of Toby, the band plays bad tunes, upsetting his stomach and he throws them up. Once they are back outside, the band takes revenge and kills everyone. Pete the fart, drifts away to become a breath of fresh air!

It is a rather dramatic story line to say the least – filled with emotions and action. It has all the elements that kids love and adults can find unsettling because we have learned how to present “nicer” pictures to the world. Especially the ending where everyone is killed by the band. It raises questions for us as facilitators too: “Is this okay? Should this sort of ending be allowed? Maybe we should encourage the group to find a happier ending?” However, anyone who has worked with kids in creative expression activities will know that is not unusual for a story to end with death. There is often something very Roald Dahl about the stories children generate.

We decided to let the children go with the story they chose, not intervene and make it “safer” but instead to support them in bringing it to life. Being able to express ideas and pursue them to a creative conclusion is an important part of the project process. The excitement of the story, generated energy for the children to create the characters, build the set and follow through on the filming. The end result is a fantastic film, the most sophisticated of all the films made to date by children attending an Elemental Kids holiday event of this nature. There are 3 dimensional shots, close ups and activity. It is fantastic! Now we have a film for each element – earth, fire, water and air. Watch the latest creation to enjoy the children’s abundant creativity đŸ™‚

In between all the film making activities there was also a lot to enjoy inside and outside! In the art space with Gary and Janet, children made all kids of things – there was plaster casting, clay work, beading, rain sticks, sand art and free creativity!

The beautiful garden facilities in the park meant we had opportunities to go and play outside in the sunshine each day. Children climbed, jumped, swung, slid and rolled around the big space!

We also spent time at the beach, climbing on rocks, exploring rock pools, swimming in freezing water, discovering sea life and enjoying being together outside!

We even witnessed the drama of a mountain fire, seeing it flare up and being able to watch the helicopters collect water from the ocean while we stood on the rocks and felt the wind from their rotating wings blow against us. It was all rather thrilling!

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I cant believe the week ended so quickly and it was such a wonderful conclusion to. The children’s film premiered at the end of the week after the eventful wrap party during the first part of the day, which involved much cooking of crepe, crumpets and waffles and eating! Lots and lots of parents attended the premier of the film and they loved it as much as the children. Thank you very much to everyone that came out to see the film and that participated in the holiday event this month. It was very special and I look forward to seeing you all again at our next holiday event in June đŸ™‚

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