I really loved the most recent activity I did with the kids. I had it planned early on in my internship but waited to do it a) because I thought the kids needed to actually trust me and feel relaxed around me to do it and b) I didn’t think we had the supplies possible to do it until the past week or so. I don’t remember exactly when I thought of doing it, but it was sparked by seeing how precise and disciplined the kids – for the most part – are in all that they do. I wanted them to not see my group as an assignment but just as a place to have fun and try new things. Building up to this activity, I kept expressing how important it was to just have fun, love what you made, and let loose.

The activity this week was to be messy. Yep. Basically taking us all back to preschool when we cared nothing about how realistic our drawings were, how straight our lines had to be, or how dirty our hands became. I decided to basically take finger painting to the next level and include liquid glue, glitter, all types of paint, and even felt fabric.

I finally did it, and it was awesome.

All the kids got really into it, although a few stayed quite straight and narrow, making precise squares and clear drawings. One thing that was really cool was that the kids that I had seen have the least confidence in class had the most confidence here. These are the kids that can’t really remember numbers, draw straight lines, or color in the lines. These kids shone in this activity, making some of the most creative paintings. It was a good reminder how important it is to have all kinds of outlets for kids to express themselves and show their abilities. It gives them real confidence in themselves and what they are capable of.

While I originally expected the youngest children to have the most fun, I actually think the kids in the oldest group were the ones who got most into the activity. These are the kids that help out the most around the house and arguably have the least time for “fun,” so it was really important to me that they could just cut loose and have a really fun time. I also ran the group with the older kids on my own. Since they definitely saw me as less of an authority figure than the other staff, they cut lose a bit more. It was challenging but a ton of fun to work with them. I played music for all the groups, and since I have really no iTunes collection and zero Ghanaian music on my laptop, all the kids got to listen to this awesome mix my boyfriend sent me my his friend in Dubai (is this right???). All the kids LOVED it, specifically one older boy who kept repeating, “Madame, this song is very good.”

I really appreciated how much the kids humored me in this activity. It was absolutely completely different from anything they are used to doing or any “assignment” they have been given in the past. I made them get up and “shake it out” to relax, I danced around like a goof and many of them joined me, and I made them not use the precise tools they ask for in every activity. I loved how much they dove into it head on.

Below are a few of my favorite pieces.

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