Photo credit: M.N. Hutchinson
A guest blog from volunteer Leanne Miller on her family's experience in our makerspace.
I didn’t know what to expect walking through the glass doors into BMO World of Creativity: Atelier. As it turns out, this fun makerspace is full of opportunity for children and parents alike. Atelier is highly interactive, and our engaging host, Roger, was keen to help us create!
Our first mission: create a thaumatrope. At the start, I didn’t even know what a thaumatrope was; however, Roger was eager to show us, and from there our imaginations took off. I know I can just tell you what a thaumatrope is, but my family and I recommend you visit the Art Gallery of Alberta and make one for yourself.
Our second project was to create a comic strip that showed What Canada Means to Us. We found this theme hard to narrow down because Canada and being Canadian can mean so many different things to so many people. Eventually, we decided that to us, Canada means freedom–freedom to explore. My 4-year-old son said we should draw our tent trailer to represent how we explore our country together.
Next, we discovered a projector shining brightly on the wall at the front of the room. There were colours and shapes to move around, allowing us to project whatever we could dream up. My husband and our 2-year-old daughter both loved this part. Safe to say, this exhibition is a delight for all ages.
My personal favourite, was the modelling clay stop-motion station. Roger invited us to create unique characters and settings, which we could then incorporate into a Claymation video. It was intimidating at first, as I had never tried anything like this before. We made a funny video of a bear trying to steal a dog’s bone. In the video, the dog chases the bear around the yard until he finally fetches what’s his. Seeing our work come alive by moving the characters little by little and photographing each step was something I never would have thought to do with my children at home. I'm glad we had the opportunity to tackle this fun new project.
I genuinely recommend taking some time and bringing your children to BMO World of Creativity: Atelier. Children and students’ admission is now free, so head to the AGA and discover the imaginative ideas your family can conjure up in this artistic space. As for my family, we're still talking about how much fun we had!