I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
The hottest place to create the coolest art
I have been attending Hot Art for Cool Kids religiously for about 5 years now, first with one daughter and now with two and it is a highlight in our winter and summer school holidays calender. In fact as soon as the inkling of school holidays rolls around I am given a gentle yet firm reminder to book tickets pronto, and I do so with cheer as this is one activity that ticks so many boxes for me as both a parent and an educator.
Cube 37 is part of the Frankston Art Centre and the home of Hot Art for Cool Kids
You see this is a creative and diverse art and craft program that encourages children to be free in their creative ventures while facilitating their journey minus the restrictions, boundaries and rules often associated with formal art lessons. It is a program created by artists and art therapists who understand the importance of children exploring their environment and harnessing their imagination to create freely in a safe and supportive arena.
Sewing up a sweetheart cushion from scratch
The large room is set up into "creation stations," some of which are the same each holidays and others that change each season offering opportunities to learn and practice new skills and ideas. Children are then encouraged to freely roam around the place and mix and match from stations to create, build, whack, paint, design and bring to life their own masterpiece or masterpieces.
The finished product completed by one very proud six year old
This season we are looking forward to some of the regular inclusions like a sewing station, painting, music, movement, digital animation, dress up, storytelling, woodwork, play dough and a big scrap heap of beautiful and bizarre trash (I use the term lightly) to recycle into amazing new things. Over the years I have seen monsters, rockets, gardens, homes, people, animals, cars and a whole variety of other imaginative creations come to life with little more than a box, some ribbon, maybe an old hat or a square of fabric. Results will amaze you, as they do me, every time.
This robot was made entirely out of recycled goods from the "scrap heap"
This time round there is a specialty workshop set up by the Barking Spider Visual Theatre, who are going to work with the kids in finding items within the scrap heap to turn into their own unique and original musical instruments. I am already picturing the most exciting results. Kids can then work together as part of the Scratch Heap Orchestra, practice together and then play for the other visitors in a mini concert.
Design, create and play your own musical instrument with the Barking Spider theatre
This is definitely a family friendly activity and everyone is encouraged to work together and make full use of all that is available to them. With plenty of helpful and friendly staff members roaming around and working at the stations however, parents can, if they prefer, take a back step and let their kids go crazy.
You never know what you'll find, even a sloth
Safety is of the utmost priority and anything that could potentially be harmful like a hot glue gun, sewing machine or saws are used only by staff and volunteers who patiently follow the brief set out to them by the mini creators and artists. Many of us know how difficult it can be to not interfere in a child's creative process, wanting to make suggestions or whip the tool out of their hands to do the task faster or better, but this is exactly the place to let go of that control and mentality and allow children to be in charge.
The infamous scrap heap
Hot Art for Cool Kids runs from January 6th until January 10th and is budgeted at families looking for fun without that fare. One child is $14 for two and a half hours of unrestricted creating time and any extra children are only $7. That's pretty good value. A parent must stay and supervise but at no charge. On top of that kids can take home anything they make or some works can be picked to stay behind and be left to be exhibited in the Frankston Art Centres display space Cube 37. We have often journeyed back up that way to peer at a stuffed bear or life size drawing that has been included in the exhibit to the general public. Things can be picked up afterwards and taken home.
I can not recommend this activity highly enough and I'm certainly not the only one as sessions book out very quickly. Jump online and get your tickets soon and come enjoy the mess and raw imagination of children at work without worrying about having to clean up afterwards or hunting out craft items prior. Oh, and bring a spare bag to collect the many wonderful things you will be taking home with you to proudly show off and, as there might be wet paint involved, something in the boot of your car is useful to protect the interior.