Now that Primary school started, what happened the week seems so far away, nevertheless it was a special week.

My 6 years old child joined a summer camp for young kids organised by mamBO -Bologna's Museum of Modern Arts. 
Starting from its title Verde, molto verde, verdissimo, this course program did immediately appeal to me: activities were centred around the idea of letting children experiencing nature in relation to art. A great combination, if you ask me.

At first my boy was a little daunted. I do not know why, but I could see it from the expression of his face as he walked around looking at the blackboards alined on a side and a table full and art material ready to be used. 
All new experiences can be a little scary at first but I thought this one could be a good transition to the huge life change awaiting: the first day of elementary school.

It turned out it was fun, after all.
Also, meeting new kids, making new friends, getting to know new teachers was a good preparation for Primary School.

The children discovered the work of various artists, searched for labyrinths in old gardens in a wonderful location such as Villa delle Rose, that is part of Mambo museum actually.
Totally immersed in nature and guided by a group of professionals from the Educational Department, they produced a variety of artefacts as well. All activities were organised for the children to play together, be engaged in projects with direct participation and be creative. At the end of the week, Erik took home some interesting things.

This cute little drake for instance was born from a workshop on camouflage and now is hanging in Erik's room.

Working with scraps of green papers and collage, the children produced each a personal place mat. I believe they actually used them for lunch. Layed all together on a table they looked extraordinary, don't you think?

From the beautiful illustrated book Linnea in Monet's Garden kids got to learn about the wonderful world of Monet and made each a personal version of his garden. Using colours on paper and object found in the park.
I love my boy's bridge on top of a circular garden full of flowers. Absolutely lovely work by the other kids as well I think. Always interesting to see all different interpretations based on the same subject.

Everything they did was very beautifully exhibited for us to see at the end of the week,
the work done in the park was truly impressive.
A beautiful tree assembled using simple white paper was laid on the ground, where che children could glue coloured leaves made by themselves and interesting thoughts about nature they prepared beforehand. 
In the background stood a circle of blackboards with paintings they did en plain air after talking about Monet, his painting and the Impressionism.

This was Erik's first attempt at painting with a real painter palet, observing things from reality. This is the tree he painted. It's now proudly hanging on the living room walls at home. 

Overall I really recommend this course organised by the Mambo's Educational Department.
Children started each day by relaxing in the park, observing nature and play. Sometimes illustrated stories were suggestions for personal and creative elaborations. Other times just observing while wandering in the park did the trick.
If you have children, try to have a look at your local museum to see if they organise things like that or even a day workshop to be involved in art in a fun way. Good for both adults and kids.
If you live near Bologna, check out Mambo's site

The course included:
Sensible Explorations - workshop dedicated to Canadian conceptual artist Keri Smith author of several books and apps about creativity.
Camouflage -workshop finalised to the creation of personal stories using as a starting point the idea of mimetic in nature
Natural Shelters -activity ispired by the work of Mario Mertz and his primordial shelters
Artist Gardens -dedicated to Claude Monet
En Plein Air -activity dedicated to Impressionism.

Well done everyone.


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