Tap To Call

  07808 168 543

Kids school and holiday art clubs

Playing Seriously

In our first session back at Merton Park Primary school we began to explore ideas around building, structures and machinery.

I have been interested the idea of ‘serious play’ for a while in the work that I do; that is playing with ideas or materials with a purpose. Many others who deal with creativity in education would share this notion in a world increasingly pressurising children to achieve results and hit targets in a  standardised way. If you are interested in this you may want to follow the thread through an article I recently wrote for NSEAD (National Society for Education in art and design) The Seriousness of Play.

I digress…

We began our session with a drawing exercise based on the game Chinese Whispers.

Each child was given an object small enough to fit in the palm of their hand, and was asked to draw in secret on a small square of paper. Looking at every mark, line and shape they saw. We used things from my tool box this week to fit in the idea of machines.

DSC_0003 DSC_0009

We could draw from every angle, with pen and pencil.DSC_0010 DSC_0012

This made us look very closely and concentrate hard.


We then collected the objects and sat in a circle. We passed our drawing around and copied our neighbours, exactly as we saw it.

DSC_0023 DSC_0025 DSC_0028 DSC_0030


This was harder we thought as we didn’t have the original object to look at, but it was faster to do.

we carried on passing drawings on until we had 4 drawings each.

We then tried to guess which object we had. It wasn’t always obvious.

DSC_0034 DSC_0035 DSC_0038

Lastly we matched all the drawings to their original object and talked about how the drawings changed as they were passed on.
DSC_0042 DSC_0043

The drawing of the drawing of the drawing of the object!

DSC_0045We then watched a film of two artists, Fischili and Weiss who made a work called.

‘The way things go’  You can watch it here.

We then selected 4 items from a table full of junk objects.


We played with them and added to them to make precarious structures, that would just stand still, and look interesting.

DSC_0051 DSC_0054

There was lots of bangs and clatters as we experimented.DSC_0063 DSC_0066 DSC_0067 DSC_0072When we were happy we made a large charcoal drawing of our structure.

DSC_0082 DSC_0105 DSC_0106 DSC_0108 DSC_0112Then photographed it with a white sheet as a backdrop.

DSC_0084 DSC_0089 DSC_0096We talked about what we found difficult and what we liked about each sculpture.

DSC_0102Here we liked the sandwich made by the bottle and its lid!

DSC_0103Here we liked the man with the top hat.



We also liked the way objects were layered inside each other.

We decided we would like to try and make them move next week!

I would like to thank Henry Ward, Access Art and Welling School’s publication AE5 for sharing the ideas that helped in the development of this session.








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>