Last week the children from our LiveWires program celebrated Book Week with creativity, flair and thoughtfulness over two days.

One of the LiveWires children with her 3D hot-air balloon carrying her goals and aspirations.

On Tuesday the children and leaders read Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss together and discussed what goals and aspirations mean to the children. This was followed by a brainstorming session on personal aspirations and goals, with the children encouraged to think wildly and freely.

The children then created their own 3D image of a hot air balloon ‘flying’ into the sky with their dream/aspiration. Their creations are now on display in the LiveWires room for the children to reflect on throughout the year.

On Wednesday, the children arrived for the Expressive Arts program to find a range of items placed on the tables: an array of books from our shelves, two bunches of fresh flowers, collected words from the previous week’s activities, a range of art materials, objects from the garden, and inspirational words.

Livewires Expressive Arts Coordinator Karen Szydlik showed the children the cover of the book The Heart and the Bottle, which features a picture of an empty bottle, and asked an open question: “If you had an empty bottle, what would you put in it?”

“Butterflies, money, jewellery, precious things, hopes, dreams,” were just some of the responses.

Then everyone gathered on the mat together and collected words. Many of the words were emotions: love, like, friendly, silliness but also, butterflies, mermaids, wishes, dreams, ghost.

The display of the books created by the children.

Everyone then moved to the tables, and the children were invited to lead the session in whichever direction they wished.

They said: “Can we make books?”

Starting with paper and natural elements from the garden, they began crafting books small and large, with hidden floral messages inside that frequently incorporated the ideas for what they would put in an empty bottle, or the words they had collected together.

The children and leaders worked collaboratively to figure out how to join pages together effectively, experimenting with staples, glue and tying, as the children explored using the full range of materials available to create their books.

At the end of the session, we created a display of the diverse range of books that had been created, and some of the children took them home to complete at school the following day.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the activities and it was wonderful to see them so inventive with their ideas and creations! It is exciting knowing that these activities will continue beyond LiveWires, with the books being taken home to be added to and written in, and their aspiration displayed for the children to refer to and reflect on throughout the year.

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