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A happy place where children unleash their creative spirit
These school holiday workshops are not a regular vacation care program. They are a specialty range of creative workshops aimed at the developmental needs, interests and abilities, of children aged 7 to 12 years. They are held in the CBD of Adelaide in a large warehouse space which is the workplace of around 40 artists and creative people. They are not involved with the children's workshops however, but the atmosphere is one of a very real creative environment which the children are a part of.
Children meet other kids that all share a love of arty and crafty. Image by Out and About.
The children are surrounded by a real workplace with walls and tables of peoples art. Rosalie Cronin runs the workshops and was a textile artist for 20 years. She knows a lot about make and do. To create things is her passion, which she now loves to share with children.
Wear your play clothes here as there is lots of paint and messy fun stuff to do here. Image by Out and About.
Rosalie Cronin is a talented and experienced artist who likes to teach children ways to make things for themselves. Image by Out and About.
Involving children in creative pursuits is more than just filling in time. For children to participate in a creative activity is to teach skills for life. When a child can focus their attention to the small details of an activity, they are stimulating their brain and small muscles, as well as hand and eye co-ordination.
Focused attention and the ability to complete a task are important skills to acquire in childhood. Kids learn this from participating in work they like to do. Image by Out and About.
Rosalie also believes it is important to teach children who are growing up in such a throw-away society that they can re-use things that would normally be discarded. And also to have the pride of accomplishment in making something for oneself can become a life-long value. Many of the materials used are upcycled, which is a term for giving something a new lease of life or turning it into something different from its original use.
Rosalie with some of her talented workshop participants. Image by Out and About.
The workshops sessions are available on a day rate, or a weekly rate, where the child will experience a different workshop every day. A healthy lunch is included and usually fits in with the theme for the day. Snacks for morning and afternoon tea are also provided. The morning is the main creative workshop event for the day, with other arts and crafts available in the afternoon. Some previous workshops have included fabric painting on aprons and tote bags, printing, textile work, windchimes, drum making, garden crafts, and circus skills. Some specialist artists come in to provide a varied program. Children are often taken for a walk to a local park to run about and sometimes take their drums or what they have made. For more information on costs, the program or to make a booking see the website here. The workshops are held on selected days, most school holidays.
This boy explained every detail of his backyard and Dad's BBQ on the artwork on his apron. Image by Out and About.
I attended one day with my junior reviewer who is very arty and loves to make things. She had such a great time and wanted to return, so her Mum booked her in for a drum making workshop later in the week. Some of the children showed me their work and described to me what they made. At the end of the holidays Rosalie and the children arrange a gallery exhibition to display their art works. Parents are invited to a gallery viewing by the children in a real gallery space - just like grown up artists.
Working towards and creating an exhibition of works is a big step for all artists. Image by Out and About.
The chill out zone in the midst of artists spaces who work there. This is where kids have afternoon tea and can relax. Image by Out and About.
When I asked one child what she liked about coming to the workshops, she replied she liked to be here in this artist workplace, surrounded by other artists and seeing them work. This surprised Rosalie, and I also found this interesting. Having worked with children for many years I know the one thing they aspire to, and what they want most, is to be all grown up. For a child, coming to this venue and to make these real and practical crafts is to be in the adult world, doing something that is not a toy or a game, but something real. With Rosalie's gentle and patient guidance these kids are learning skills for life.
Image of Children's Creativity Workshops in Adelaide CBD. Image by Out and About
As for my junior reviewer, when asked about her return to the workshop for the drum making. She replied, "oh it was brilliant. I am so glad I went. Making a drum is something I have always wanted to do" (Miss 7 and a half). Gosh kids are funny.
The big shopfront windows let plenty of light in to the kids workspace. This is one of the drums made by the kids. Image by Out and About