When we brought materials to St. David for the neighborhood-building activity, the children initially focused on individual creations. Our goal for the week was to construct a community collaboratively, but the preceding weeks had emphasized individual projects, so their independent approach wasn’t surprising. The giant sheet of cardboard meant for the neighborhood slowly filled with isolated houses and parking lots.
However, a surprising shift occurred when a child suggested building a Christmas city in the middle of summer. This festive idea resonated deeply with the group, and suddenly, they transformed into a cohesive team. Ideas flowed freely: “Let’s add sleighs to the parking lot!” or “We should turn this park into a skating rink!” Astonishingly, someone would immediately act upon these suggestions. One child constructed a massive tree for the city center, and, in the true spirit of Christmas, everyone pitched in to decorate it with lights, ornaments, and even a tiny Santa hat on top.
It was invigorating to witness the rapid shift to collaborative work once a single idea united the children. Equally rewarding was their ability to work together as a team, respecting each other’s input and assisting one another to bring a shared vision to life. What stood out most was how this project offered vital opportunities for the kids to collaborate with their peers. It encouraged them to step out of their comfort zones, build deeper connections, ask questions, find solutions, and challenge both themselves and their peers.
Art, in this context, proved uniquely suited to providing such opportunities. The process of creating something like this demanded not only creativity and ingenuity but also a substantial amount of investigation and problem-solving.
St. David Gallery
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Scroll through this gallery to witness the diverse artworks children created.
Can you hear the stories behind each of them?