Designing creative activities for children (a second experience)

Il 6 Maggio presso la Libera Università di Bolzano si sono tenuti cinque diversi workshop, organizzati grazie alla collaborazione di Junior Uni. Gli studenti si sono divisi in piccoli gruppi e ad ognuno è stato assegnato un materiale diverso: carta, cartone, filo, gessetti e tessuto. Con questa unica regola e prendendo ispirazione dagli incontri ed esperienze fatte durante il corso, ogni gruppo ha ideato e preparato un nuovo laboratorio. E’ stata una seconda occasione per mettere in pratica le proprie idee, entrando in contatto diretto con i bambini e ricevendo il loro feedback sincero e disinteressato. Un esperienza che si è rivelata davvero utile in vista dei workshop conclusivi- che si terranno il 13 Giugno in vari luoghi della città.

TERRA!  -On May the 13th, we travelled forward, to the future. The aliens, and in particular their ambassador Xvorbt, were looking forward to meet the most important chiefs of the governments of the Earth. They had a huge problem, though: they did not know where to park their spaceship. What they needed was a landing field. Luckily, we happened to know how to build one. Using long ropes and some special sticks, the kids drew large geometric shapes on the courtyard floor, thus learning how to construct them starting from straight lines and circles. The final result was a gigantic drawing, which was perfectly visible from a height. Our goal was to get the kids to modify their surroundings in a different way than they normally do, and to give them a primary, intuitive knowledge about geometry, which they will hopefully keep until they are ready to deepen it.

Hasta la vista – Many times do we stop to observe the world? The title of this workshop exhorts us to take a long break, in order to think about things that surround us. Each kid could choose his/her own place inside a circle that was already prepared. From the two-dimensional representation, each child had to portray the face of the friend at his left and draw without lifting the pen from the paper. Then, we moved on to the three-dimensional representation, using the wire. Following the drawing done with the pen the children had to redo it by using a wire, without the need of tools to shape it. Once the portrait was completed, it was plasticized with our help and then they could choose to keep it or to give it to the portrayed person. Having a different prospective of the space and the surrounding things, pay attention to the characteristic of the other person, sharing they own creative work are all themes that are discussed while this activity.

Mai così vicini -A workshop that stimulates children to create their favorite district or a part of the city they imagine with cardboard. Every participant has four cardboard tiles measuring 50×50 cm, black markers, scissors, cardboard templates of various dimensions that kids can cut and decorate in order to build the elements of the city and some cardboard bases cut in the centre, in which the kids can wedge the figures so that they can stand up. We have given to them a rule: drawing streets on the four tiles that have to pass for at least two of the four sides of the square, in the mid-points of which there are two guide signs. Every child, alone, composes his/her own district, which is enriched by stories, characters, objects, buildings and other elements that tell something about the person who did it. At the end of the workshop we have reserved a sharing moment, though each district was putted together with the others in order to obtain a unique and big collective city.

La Mia -Through the process of creating a lamp we have given children from an elementary school a first idea of design. The Arabic female name “LAMIA” contains the Italian words standing for “the” and “my”. This title underlines the relationship between a person and an object. In the beginning, the children were encouraged to seek in the yard the most interesting textures. Secondly, they reported the textures, which they have found around them, on a semitransparent paper with the frottage technique. This process underlined all the different approaches and tastes among the children as well as their perception of the space. Then, subsequently this paper became the body of the lamp. In the end, each child was provided with a square cardboard, which had a lamp carrier and a cable. By using clips or staples the participants fixed the colured sheet on the cardboard to create their own individual lamp.


Mr.Sassolungo –The workshop was about a monster that stays in the centre of the courtyard of our university. We wanted to tell the traditional legend of the giant Sassolungo, but in a new context and place. The children were to listen to the story and then they had to invent and imagine what kind of face the monster might have. It was organized for a elementary school class and our aim was that the whole group worked together at one big project that they could take with them. Firstly, every kid had to draw the face that they had imagined for the monster into a grid. The grid, then, was cut and every kid contributed one piece in order to put together one face that was then redrawn on proportionally identical but bigger pieces of fabric that put together built the face of the monster that was then applied onto the rich in the courtyard.


Interviste, Junior Uni, Workshop