Hudson Valley Parent

HVP February 2018

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Page 28 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 29 What you can create within these boundries is endless Register now for Spring Art and Media courses • 845.471.7477 Formerly Mill Street Loft + Spark Media Project THE ART EFFECT children if it is hands-on, social and involves a lot of choice. Summer is supposed to be about playing and having fun, so if you want the learning to stay with them, then it should be an extension of that." Essinger started PlayWorks last summer, but has been planning it for years. "I wanted it to be a place where kids could play uninterrupted - because ultimately, that is the one thing that all kids want to do - and for kids to be surrounded by activities and choices that were engaging and inspiring." She believes that creative free play is important for all children. "If kids are presented with intentional play choices, then their play is work and work is learning," she says. "At PlayWorks we imagine, create, think and solve problems. We do science experiments and art projects, play logic games and puzzles, build with Legos and blocks, and play outside. I do hope that they learn some science terminology and concepts, but that isn't the goal of my camp. My camp is about practicing creativity and problem-solving." Long term benefits of self-expression Lisa Davis Albright, the owner and director of the Hudson River Performing Arts Center in Fishkill, says that kids who are involved in the arts are more creative and in touch with themselves as people. "They learn to express themselves and apply their feelings, whether they're positive or negative, in a constructive way towards a healthy result," she says. "Even our youngest students have opportunities to be creative in class. Structured play with props, including scarves or magic wands, helps them tap into the creativity they naturally possess. If they can learn to harness it at a young age, they will enjoy the long term benefits of self-expression." (Continued on Page 37)

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