During the last week of July, VIVISTOP Telliskivi hosted a summer school for Japanese children in our creative space. In total, 6 children (5 boys, 1 girl) from Japan and 7 children (6 girls, 1 boy) from Estonia participated in the activities. The children were in the age group 7–10 years old.
In the forenoons, Japanese children had English lessons, and in the afternoons they could practice their newly learned English skills with local children in the creative workshops arranged by VIVITA.
The summer school was VIVITA’s first pilot with children from different countries and backgrounds working together. Although the Japanese children were not VIVITA members in Japan, the setup of the activities proved that this kind of co-creation model can very well work.
The summer school was arranged in collaboration with Global Reach (global-reach.co.jp).
Day 1: Hammock art workshop
Workshop was led by product designers Mia Tamme and Paul Grünewald. The aim of the workshop was to create artistic hammocks for public use in Telliskivi Creative City.
The workshop started with a fun icebreaker game were children were throwing a ball of yarn to each other. The one catching the yarn had to say out loud their name.
Thereafter, the group went outside to inspect the area where they would later hang the hammocks. The hammocks were to be hung on a slackline that was fastened between trees. As part of the workshop the children could watch a performance of slackline tricks by a professional slackliner Tauri Vahesaar.
Back inside the studio, children learned about various uses for hammocks and about the painting technique of the famous American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. Dressed in protective suits and working in pairs of two, the kids then used the same technique for creating Pollock-like magical patterns on the hammocks.
The painting activity was followed by a fun workshop where the kids learned how to tie basic knots on a rope. This skill they could later practice for hanging the hammocks to the slackline. During short energizer breaks, the kids could also practice balancing on the slackline. Once the hammocks were attached to the slackline, it was time to play — swinging in the hammocks and turning hammocks into cocoons to allow them to be twisted around.
The workshops showed again what makes children laugh: the freedom to create a little mess and to challenge one’s body skills. Their laughter is contagious making the adults around them notice the joy in small things. Swinging and playing with the hammocks proved to be the most popular activity during the summer school, every break was spent under the trees.
Day 2: Lego-robotics workshop
Building with LEGO bricks is universal and common for the children — no language skills or social games were needed to get the activity going. Lego Boost set offers 5 different robot structures for building, each of them with somewhat different complexity level. The tutorials for building the robots are given in an app, that supports self-exploration.
Children worked in groups of 2–3, with one adult supporting each group. Altogether it took 4 hours to finish the structures. Some of the children had a chance to code different activities for their robots but others, who were building more complex shapes spent most of the time just building.
Lego sets are a safe choice for a workshop: it is easy to use and fun at the same time.
Day 3: Stop-motion animation workshop
On the final day of VIVITA activities, the children were encouraged to first create giant soap bubbles outdoors. Thereafter they formed two teams with 7 children in each group. The task of the day was to create a stop-motion animation that explores turning the impossible into possible.
At first, both teams could pick some idea cards to choose actions that they would start working on. Throughout 3 hours they could explore the given ideas and come up with their own. Within the workshop, children created 6 short stop motion films both featuring themselves and small figures created by them and found at VIVISTOP.
The summer school was full of fun ideas, proving that through creative activities, interaction can be encouraged for learning a new language.
Thank you for participating and making the summer school so joyful — Elli, Karolin, Kazuma, Kazuki, Liv, Mae, Marta, Massimo, Mia, Morten, Mulawin, Nanaka, Olga, Ryota and Sora.
VIVISTOP Telliskivi team