Kids build their own city!

One day one of our supporters showed up with an unusual donation for our art class at Finca La Maya: a large box full of several hundred empty cigarette hard-packs!  As on every Saturday, our Art for Kids class is always looking for interesting new projects to do together. These projects are not only creating art and crafts, but projects where ideally the kids are encouraged to think, observe, create, and actually learn something useful too!

Future Urban planners at Finca La Maya

Future Urban planners at Finca La Maya

Inspiration. Using the cigarette packs, every child was asked to create their own house. Then they would organize them all together on a wall to make their very own “city”.

“Design your new house” OK kids, let’s think about this: architecture, decoration, life style, and location. This was something to get exited about and created much discussion. What do you want your house to look like? How big? Two cigarette boxes, or three? One floor, or two? “No, I want a hotel” …“I want a church!” …“mine will have a garden” ….“and my dog needs a little house too”.

Off to work we went, gluing the little cardboard packets together and covering them with colored paper, ribbons and other decorations for windows, doors and roofs.

Applying city planning. Then came the next very important considerations:

“Where do you want to live in your village?” … “We need a river!” “I want to live near the mountains” …”I want to be next to the store and taxi” …

The concept of 3-dimentional houses was initially difficult for the kids to grasp. Only when we tilted the plywood vertically to paint the background for their town, did they begin to understand that theirs would truly be a 3-dimensional village!

Democratic vote. After several weeks of art classes the kids were ready to start gluing houses to the board to make our town. When completed, it was time to vote for a name for their new village. There were interesting names like Cuidad del Sol (Sun City), Olympus, Pueblo Tranquillo, but finally “Monopoly” won ~ by only one vote!

Learning through art can be one of the most rewarding experiences ~ for both the students and teachers! We invite artists or any volunteers to come do a two-hour project with the kids on a Saturday afternoon. You won’t believe the fun we have! All are welcome, call or just show up at 12:30 art classes at Finca La Maya!

“My mission is to teach through the arts the joy of learning. I hope to inspire in young students the desire to extend their education and encourage them to interact with the arts throughout their lives” ~ S. McCamant


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Finca La Maya in San Carlos provides FREE classes for English, Art for Kids, and a Computer Lab. Classes are held every Saturday and there is also a bilingual library. All activities are supported entirely by donations and volunteers. FLM always needs more of both! The programs at Finca La Maya depend on the generosity of supporters and donations. Every dollar helps, donations may be made directly on our website. Thank you for your support!