Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Art at the playground: An aspiration

I have been having this mad sort of idea which was born out of my love to facilitate. Since Sophia was born, i have been facilitating at the playground, doing different things with kids, usually games, but sometimes bringing down easel and water colors, mostly for the benefit of my own two, but letting other interested children join in as they like.

Yesterday, i had this idea of making it a community bonding idea. Maybe I have been inspired by Sophia's song

"Roll over the ocean, Roll over the sea
Go and do your part to build community"

So this is a wish and an experiment, where I will be bringing down, every Monday evening, some simple art materials for the children in the playground and (interested) adults to work on a spot of art. So welcome to...

Since we did crayon rubbings at home over the last weekend, and the children were interested, I took downstairs a stack of paper and a box of crayons. there were a few children in the playground who we usually play with and they joined us to scavenge for stuff to rub. We found some leaves, some branches, some twigs, and a few snails in the bushes (though we didnt collect those).

Working on the rough surface of the playground is very different from doing crayon rubbings at home in the smooth tile floor, as the kids soon realized. The smaller leaves didnt really rub well, and the texture of the rough floor came up more clearly. Here are some of the early attempts

 This one shows the veins of the leaf and the texture of the floor below
Since the paper I had brought was the kind that could be cut to customized length - not sure what it is called, but it opens interesting avenues for art -  I laid it out for a bit of collaborative art. 

Five boys who were playing in the playground took one look at what the girls were drawing and screamed "Movie!" and wanted to do their own

There was the large art and the smaller individual work - the girls' team and the boys' team.
Some time close to 9pm, Jackie, the dog came for a walk. So we decided to do some spontaneous portraits
Here is Anjali's sketch of Jackie. She colored it up and gave it to his owner to keep.

It makes a big difference to children when you give them old materials in a new environment. If I had given the girls the crayons at home, they probably wouldnt have been inspired to draw on more than a single sheet. However, moving them to the playground, lots of art and inspirations and new areas of play were explored.

I wont be able to do this next week because of  Anjali's surgery. But I hope to do these art explorations in the playground on a  regular basis every Monday starting from the week after.


  1. Great! You could do a community kolam too you know. There is this person, I am sure your mom knows her. She is at Whampoa - she does a lot of community kolam and does art therapy through kolam. swati

  2. What and interesting and fun project...thank you for sharing! :)

    Jennifer @ Sparkle & Splatter


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