Afterschool art activities can be an opportunity to introduce new media.

Craft projects that support the overall theme can make up a portion of your afterschool art activities. Sometimes this might be learning a specific skill such as weaving, knitting or crocheting. It can sometimes be an opportunity to create something representative of a story, such as a diorama, painting or sculpture. sometimes it can be creating various crafts using the central object from your theme, such as apples, outer space, card making, bead making, etc.

This can also be an opportunity for the children to use their imagination when presented with a pile of “clean trash” and asked to create a sculpture, game or toy. This is the ultimate in “open-ended” art. Provide a collection of various boxes, plastic containers, wrappers and foil that have all been cleaned. This really gives the children an opportunity to freely express themselves without constraint. Providing time, space and materials is the main thing to consider here. Do plan, however, ten different types of art challenges or crafts as the “featured” art project, with the understanding that the children can do all or none as they wish.

Older school aged children, those about 10 - 12 years old, will often start a project and run out of time to complete it. If you have sufficient space to store these items, the children will enjoy spending a few days on the same project.

By creating an art museum in miniature in your classroom, and encouraging the children to select their best work to be displayed, you are validating their artistic efforts. You never know when one of those children will grow to be an accomplished artist because you have provided opportunity to explore and celebrated their creations through your after school art activities.

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