I’m not sure when our current situation will change, but for now, we’re spending a lot of time inside. Hopefully social distancing will soon become nothing but a memory, but until then, it’s helpful to have some ideas for ways to pass the time.
Since my kids were little, they spent time doing artsy activities. They didn’t really have much of a choice – it’s a part of who I am, so naturally it just makes sense to share creative ideas with them. Gone are the days of crayons and smelly play-doh, since both of my kids are teens now. Which makes me happy because I teach high school.
Not that I’m structuring our time at home. Not one little bit. It’s time to relax, eat too much junk food, watch an insane amount of Netflix and Disney+, and every now and then, try doing something productive. While I was organizing my school bag, I noticed an architecture book I had quickly packed away on the last day of school before March break.
My son has always loved architecture, so I showed him the book and asked him to pick about five of his favourite buildings. Within minutes, he had selected several buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, his all-time favourite architect. I challenged him to turn on his XBox and try to build his favourite building.
Voila: hours of happy architecture studying, careful measuring, and then reading details about the building to find out more info. I know it sounds a bit geeky, but when you find out that a child (or student) loves something, that’s where you start. (If you want to learn more about this, research Teaching for Artistic Behavior, read The Open Art Room, or Dive Into Inquiry).
As I write this, Ethan has moved on to another building, inspired by the Glass House, and is slowly creating a world that will be filled with architecture inspired by noteworthy architects. Not a bad way to spend his time.