Gone are the days when the summer holidays left parents bereft of activities to keep their children's boredom at bay. Summer camps cater to virtually every inclination and can provide a different context for learning and an outlet to discover new interests.
Students in the Art in Practice course at the Colour My World arts school in Aberdeen, for example, learn techniques and let their imagination run free as they work to produce two final artworks.
Previous students have created textile wall hangings, black and white photo prints and alla prima oil paintings.
The specialist art teachers guide participants through techniques across various mediums and teach them how to select themes and materials.
Tiffany Larkan, head teacher at Colour My World, says students learn how different applications of media can be used to convey ideas. Participants are encouraged to explore their own imaginations to develop concepts and generate the final artworks.
"The process includes exploring two different approaches, either in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography or graphic design, " she says. "Students gain in-depth knowledge and confidence and then explore techniques and skills to complete a final artwork."
Skills learned in drawing, for example, would aid the development of 3-D perspective, mark making (pencil to paper) and form. "This broadens their understanding of spatial awareness, [which is] required for the sculpture aspect of the project, " Larkan says.
Weekly camps for children aged 12 and above tackle themes such as fantasy, illusions and contrast.
Meanwhile, T.S. Elliot's The Song of the Jellicles sets the stage for The Kittens, a summer programme for eight to 10-year-olds at Hong Kong Art School.
Children create functional artworks from scratch with their own hands and minds
Law Chung Foon
Participants will use the poem to create a play and learn how to apply visual and performance art techniques without relying on textbook examples. Character development, performance, prop- and costume-making techniques will be a primary focus as the students develop the play into a final production that they will perform in front of an audience.
Law Chung Foon, the art school's assistant communications and development manager, says the poem's message made it ideal to encourage children to create an identity within a community. "At the same time, children are able to learn to appreciate their own uniqueness and respect others' differences, " says Law.
Students engage in a well-rounded art learning experience and have free artistic reign. "Children create functional artworks from scratch with their own hands and minds [at a time] when it is becoming increasingly rare for children to make their own toys, " Law says.