An Artful Birthday Party or an Art Carnival?

by Rashmie on December 2, 2011 · 25 comments

in Art & Craft,Creative Play

It was more an 'Art Festival' than a 'party' in the traditional sense of the word! Yeah, that's how I would descrive Pari's 6th birthday celebration.

As I had shared with you, I had meant the party to be an amalgamation of music, art and dance – a MAD party. If I had to rank the influence of the three elements (music, art, dance), I'd have to say – art was the driving factor, supported exclusively by music and then dance – to have the kids release their pent-up energy!

So, without any more pretexts, let me share how we integrated the three elements in the form of games.

Game Number 1: Art Medley

Couple of days prior to the party, I sketched some big, bold geometric figures on ivory paper sheets and cut them up to make templates.

I taped the templates, with the help of painter's tape, on to various flat surfaces around our living room – on the two sides of fridge, on doors, tables. The intention was to create about a dozen 'art stations'.

That evening, when the game began, I asked each kid to take one art station to begin with. Each station would have its own art material – sketch pens, markers, crayons etc. They start coloring/doodling when the music starts and continue as long as the music plays. When I stop the music, they need to leave their art station and occupy another one. I play and stop the music several times; which means – each kid gets a chance to paint at more than 4-5 stations – with a unique opportunity to extend the art from where the last kid paused.

It was utterly fascinating to see how excited and engrossed the kids were in this collaborative art project cum game. Never once did I see them doing something half-heartedly. Each was trying to beautify and complete the art piece to the best of their ability. 

They were even running from one station to another to get the colours of their choice. 

I told them to scribble down their names at each art station so that at the end of the rally, we would discuss each art and see who contributed and what was their thought behind it.

Some doodled abstract, some drew figures and landscapes and rain. One even wrote an impromptu poem for Pari describing her as the fairy!

The best part was – their age groups spanned a wide range – from 6 to 16. One kiddo (my niece) was 1.5.

There was a mommy and a granny too. It was a sight to watch – a festival of art and creativity in the truest sense. And, what a collaborative effort. Each and every work had at least 4 or more creative brain behind it!

When it was over, Avie and I dedicated 10 minutes to discuss with the kids what they had drawn, their thoughts and ideas. I think it was good that we did this because I could see how eager they were to explain their thought process and how proud they felt to see us value their art.

Game # 2: Roll, Draw, Perform!

We used our musical, artful dice for this game. The game was a combination of art, music, dance, performance and pure fun. The kids sat on the floor in a circle and moved the dice around at the go of music. When the music stops, we check the number of circles on the facing surface of the dice and the kid who gets the dice has to do an artful activity. The activity is to draw as many figures (flower, shape, butterfly, fruit….anything) as the number on the dice. Then, the kid picks up a chit from a box and reads out the activity that he/she needs to do. Like – sing a song, or do a dance or tell a joke, or act like his mom/dad/teacher/fav cartoon character etc.

I had taped a large sheet of paper in the middle of the kiddo circle for them to be able to draw. This game turned out to be sheer fun as the kids decided to do a count down for when it was somebody's chance to draw. The 1 to 10 countdown made the kids draw some hilarious things prompting some good jokes and laughs!

The musical dice was an eye catcher too! Everyone was curious as to how we made it…!

While we were waiting for all the kids to arrive to start our games, we decided that leaf crayon rubbings would be a good idea to keep the kids engaged. They loved this activity. 

As usual, cake-cutting was the most eagerly awaited event for the little ones. Not one kid was willing to move an inch away from the cake table!

My brother took these aerial shots – beautifully capturing the joie-de-vivre of these young, restless – and spirited souls! 

So, what do you think of our art festival…err…I mean…Birthday Party? :)