Ring, ring! Who's there?

Camp is a place that is free of cell phones, lap tops, and internet. We talk and make friends. We interact face to face. We play and pretend. Our communication is reminiscent of a time before the internet. It is rare to have a place like that these days, and it is refreshing. 

The theme of second session was called: Knock, knock, Who's There? aka How We Communicated Before the Internet. Campers played charades, learned old fashioned games, wrote letters, made friendship bracelets, followed the leader, and designed secret codes.

In the art workshop we made play-phones, and other non-functioning communication devices. The project encouraged imagination and creativity. We used recyclable materials: egg cartons, shoe boxes, tin foil, lids, caps, bottles, tubes, and ribbons. We introduced the campers to rotary phones, pagers, and the original over-sized cell phone. Each camper created their own device and then we had fun calling each other on our pretend phones and typing on our faux lap tops. The kids loved this project!

CAPI love

I pretty much love anything that is bright red, pink, and cute, so I pretty much really love Valentines Day. I love doing Valentines art projects with the kids at CAPI. Doing a kids Valentine art project makes you think about love in the purest and most innocent way. The kids cut out awkward shaped hearts and proudly declare  how much their mommy or daddy will love it. It is the sweetest thing. This year I did 2 art projects to celebrate the holiday of love. We made collage cards featuring robots and fake cupcakes made out of tissue paper. 


holiday gift tags

Decorating tags is a fun project for any age. This is a quick way to make a gift more personal. I found these blank tags 2 years ago at the Rhode Island recycling center and I stocked up on a bunch. Because the tags start off completely blank they are good for any holiday or any friend or relative. At Capi we designed our own white circle stickers to add to the tags. This project was so laid back, which made it especially enjoyable for me all of us. We talked while we drew, we discussed missing teeth, grandma's toes, and the great molasses spill. Kids helped each other draw tiny snowflakes and sound out long words. The tags look great!

Cute as an ice cream cone

Cambridgeport is such a diverse school; some of the students will be celebrating Christmas, some will celebrate Hanukkah, and some will not be celebrating either holiday. At Capi we have to be careful with our holiday art projects. We must stay away from projects that are too Christmasy or religious in any way. No Christmas trees, no Santa, no Rudolph, holly, or wreaths. It is a challenge to think of creative alternatives.

I came up with an idea for a homemade non-offensive ornament decorative hanging. We made mini ice cream cones out of pom-poms, brown paper, and a little glitter. Each ice cream cone has a cherry on top and ribbon to hang it. They are absolutely adorable and have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. They would look great on a tree, but they could be hung anywhere. I'm looking forward to making some of these with my own homemade pom-poms!



Piñata: step three

This step was a lot of fun! We painted and decorated our piñatas to look like eyeballs! 

We began by painting pupils, corneas, and veins. We looked closely at each others eyes to observe how the colors and shapes looked. We did not have to use real colors; we could make a red eye, or green veins. The next step was to add details made out of fabric, feathers, foam, and other glue-able items. It took two different days to create this evolution. You can see the two steps with this monster eyeball.

We wanted each eyeball to have its own personality. We decided to create 4 different types of creepy eyeballs. The monster eye (above), would have bugs crawling on it, extra googly eyes, and translucent green ooze spilling over it. The zombie eye would have a hypnotized swirl, spider webs, blood splatters, and scars made of red ribbon.  The pink eye would wear rose-tinted glasses and have a pink bow.  The cat's eye would have sparkly makeup, tear drops, and long feathered eyelashes. Each eyeball needed a few details to make it special. Take a look at our finished Piñatas!

There is still one final step, perhaps the best step of all! Look out for step 4!


After 4 days of messy and sticky paper-mache-ing, the CAPI kids had created 4 strong giant piñatas. As the paste dried the balloon shells became harder and stronger. 

Step two for the piñatas is a relief. We were happy to know that the hard work was done and that the end was in sight. "Now is the time" to paint our beautiful piñatas. We started with solid coats in 4 different colors. I chose light colors- gray, pale orange, yellow, and light green. The painting goes so quickly with 6 brushes helping at once.

The painted balloons make the the final piñatas easier to imagine. We decided that the piñatas will become 4 giant creepy eye balls. Look out for step three!

Piñata: step one

CAPI may be the only afterschool that has already began preparing for Halloween. It is Christine's (my supervisor) favorite holiday. All of our art projects are now in preparation for a highly anticipated Halloween party, complete with haunted house, costumes, piñatas, and candy!

An old tradition at CAPI is the Halloween Piñata. A homemade piñata takes many steps. We started by covering giant balloons with newspaper strips and a paper mache paste of equal parts flour and water. We worked as a group to cover the balloons, trying not to drip on the ground, trying to ask politely for more newspaper, trying to cover every little part that was peaking through. This is the longest step, as the balloons will need around 3 solid layers to support the candy and withhold the stick whacks. We are planning to make 4-5 Pinatas for the different age groups. 

This is the messiest step.

What should we turn our piñatas in to?

Look out for Step Two.

Felt board

For my first afterschool project of the year I made a felt board with the kids. This was a good first project because we worked as a group and because the board can be used all-year round. The board was made by stretching a large piece of felt over a cardboard rectangle. The felt edges are hot glued to the back of the cardboard then placed in a frame. We made a poster-sized felt board with a bright blue background. The kids and I cut out various scraps of felt to make an assortment of shapes in different sizes and colors. The shapes are used on the board to create images. A felt board uses the principle of friction to hold felt shapes in place. The shapes can be easily moved, rotated, or taken off of the board to create infinite picture variations. No glue is needed! The kids enjoyed cutting the felt, but especially loved creating pictures.