This is a post I’d been meaning to write, but somehow never got round to doing so. It’s only because I was recently asked about Noey’s art classes at Abrakadoodle that I decided to sit down and finish this.
Noey’s creative outlet is art. He loves doodling on random pieces of paper and messing about with paints. I unfortunately really suck at art, and truth be told, I don’t really enjoy it. So I thought it might be fun to sign Noey up for some art classes for him to pick up some skills. Also, it takes the need to paint out of the house which, erm, makes things a bit easier for me!
Noey started art classes at Abrakadoodle shortly after his trial class and attended 2 terms and the Summer Surfin’ Camp during the June holidays. This was the first class that I had ever sent him to alone, and at first, I was a little worried that he would refuse to go if I wasn’t with him. Fortunately my fears in this regard were unfounded. Noey took to it really well and I never had any trouble getting him to attend class each week.
When he first started out, he would get distracted by the other children – I was told that my Mr Kaypoh would go around looking at what others were doing instead of doing his own work, or copy other boys to do silly things in class – but gradually, as he matured, I could see that he was able to work on his own more and more. Of course, I think the teachers also played a part. Noey isn’t the easiest child to manage but Teacher Ann and Teacher Jamie, who usually took his class, related to him really well and he, on his part, liked them very much.
One of the things I liked about his classes were that the projects the children embarked on each week were very varied. They drew inspiration from artists or different styles of art, and explored plenty of mediums. Noey completed projects using modelling clay (“Model Magic“, he’d say, correcting me), chalk pastels, and watercolour, acrylic and washable poster paints, to name a few. The projects were also pretty creative. There was one piece which they did around Chinese New Year that is DD’s favourite, and it is a painting of pussy willows where they used the corrugated edge of the cardboard dipped in paint to print the stems, then applied round dots of paint for the pussy willow buds. They also carved a piece of foam to create a chinese stamp for their name. I did think it was a neat idea for us to re-create at home on our own the next time the festive season rolls round!
Our favourite thing about Abrakadoodle though, is the presentation done by the kids at the end of each session. During this gallery session, as they call it, each child comes forward and explains their art work and a bit of what they learnt during class that week. Noey loves doing this, and it is during this moment that he shines. He’s always one of the first to put up his hand when the teacher asks if anyone wants to present. (Show & Tell is his favourite class in pre-school after all.) Truth be told, his art really isn’t that good, but my, the stories he comes up with when asked about his artwork! He’s always full of stories about all the things that are going on in his piece, and it’s mostly entertaining, if not always logical. Haha. It is my favourite time too, because I love that it gives the children the opportunity to stand before an audience and build their presentation skills and confidence by allowing them to practice their public speaking in front of a very forgiving audience.
Explaining his hermit crab project during the Summer Surfin’ Camp in June
This was a piece which they were asked to build a picture around a door. That’s the dome shaped object in the bottom left corner of the picture. Noey spun some story about it being Little Miss Magic’s house, and how she was in the kitchen cooking ants! It made me laugh.
A model of an animal made with modelling clay and pipe cleaners. I have forgotten what animal this is supposed to be but its head is down because it’s “drinking water”, ie. that blackish blob in front of it.
Part of his art gallery at home. I love the the pieces are all framed so it’s easy to mount them on the wall.
I stopped his classes after the June holidays because there was a period where he had a few school events on Saturday mornings and I also wasn’t sure if we were going to be travelling. We have enjoyed having our Saturday mornings back to ourselves, and have spent a lot of that time exploring outdoor spaces in Singapore. But lately I’ve been thinking of whether to start Noey on his classes again. I, for one, really miss that additional opportunity each week to take a peek into what goes on in his mind.