Children let their imaginations — and engineering skills — run loose at the Boys & Girls Club | CraigDailyPress.com

Children let their imaginations — and engineering skills — run loose at the Boys & Girls Club

Craft activities let children exercise imagination and planning abilities

Michael Neary

— Using old newspapers and various other creative building blocks, children at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig were practicing their construction skills Thursday morning.

For Madalynn Mata, 8, and Avia Miles, 6, that project took the form on a fort for dolls and humans.

"We're making a fort for our dolls, and we're going to make it for us, too," said Madalynn, a third-grader from San Antonio, Texas. "We're trying to make it bigger, so we can hide in it."

"And no one can find us," added Avia, a first-grader at Sunset Elementary School.

While the girls were letting their imaginations soar, they were also doing some careful planning, explained Kari Neuman, unit director of the Boys & Girls Club in Craig.

"They're using their brains in a creative way," she said, noting that the children have to plan and experiment — drawing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills — to make a structure out of such flexible material that can stand up.

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"We really like to let them learn by trial and error," Neuman added. "We have staff available to help guide, but they don't do it for them."

Neuman noted, too, that there are about a dozen students, such as Madalynn, who've come to the club for the summer as they stay with family members. In a number of cases, she said, the students return from summer to summer.

"It's always really nice to have them come back and to see how they've changed," Neuman said.

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.