Paper became puzzles, treasure maps and more this week during the Creative Creations class at the Stamper Park Resource Center.
The class description, presented by the Longview Parks and Recreation Department, explains that “children will create unique and useful new creative objects from everyday objects that they might normally throw away.”
This is the fourth summer that instructor Gillian Peters has led the class and says she started because of her “hoarding” tendencies.
“I don’t want to throw stuff away,” she said. “I see a new use for it, and I love tinkering, and so just doing it at home with my own kids, I thought that was exciting, and I looked for places.”
Classes once took place at Longview World of Wonders, but have remained at the resource center since moving, Peters said.
On Tuesday, the six children in attendance worked with paper and cardboard to create crafts such as egg carton animals, treasure maps, bookmarks and puzzles, Peters said. Working with the same materials, the class was to make piñatas and mosaics from magazine clippings when they reconvened on Thursday.
“Next week we will focus on plastics and cork and things like that. We’re going to “make a spinning art cart, and I’m going to melt plastic bottle caps to make a surface, and they’re going to make magnets the same way,” Peters said.
The class will also make cork sailboats and fused plastic sails next week, she said.
Because some crafts take time to prepare, Peters starts some ahead of time at her home, she said. Kids can still see the process of making crafts, they just don’t have to work on the more time-consuming parts.
Peters said it’s important for kids to learn how to recycle and reuse household items because it gives them a way to be creative while learning the value of upcycling.
“Instead of being the consumer where you always buy new things because something is broken, see what you can do to use it again, or instead of buying something new, just see if you you can make it yourself,” she said.
Piper Samples, 5, was regularly coloring a Pokémon picture on Tuesday and was ready to take the next step – applying Mod Podge, which is a sealant, to her work.
Peters explained to the children that each image was lined with a sticker and after coloring, they would apply their image to a piece of cardboard. The image would then have a layer of Mod Podge applied and then allowed to dry. Once the works were dry, they had to be placed in a Cricut Maker which would cut them into puzzles.
Too distracted to speak, Piper smoothed her sticker onto cardboard and was given a sponge brush and Mod Podge to apply to her photo.
Piper’s mother, Jennifer Samples, sat in the back of the room watching the class. She decided to bring her daughter after hearing about the classes on social media, she said.
“(Piper) loves art, and it’s the middle of summer, and we were bored,” Samples said. “I love the idea of just taking something you would normally throw away and making something beautiful out of it.”
Samples said she also thinks summer school provides a good opportunity for Piper to socialize by being able to see other kids and be creative with them.