It happens before you even expect it. It happened to us at our Art Camp with summer.
We carefully planned a variety of activities based on different "themes" for the day. On the last day, we had collage and sculpture activities.
I placed materials together for kids to use. We had staple and paper sculptures.
We had sticker collages.
Items that were placed at either end of a longer table. Chairs grouped near the materials. Space as an invisible line between the two, marking the two areas for work.
And then it happened. Creativity creeped into the classroom and slowly began to merge the materials.
Well, I say slowly. It wasn't. One minute things were at both ends of the table. The next, creative possibilities exploded across the table. Stickers mixed with staplers.
Lots of sharing of ideas. Lots of mixing of materials. Lots of inventiveness and thinking.
Lots of concentration and focused work.
One girl worked for at least 30 minutes, carefully placing small gem stickers in three rows completely around her paper loop bracelet.
Even on the mostly paper sculptures, a few stickers appeared.
Alas, the creep of creativity and mix of materials infiltrated almost all that occurred on the table.
I couldn't have planned it better. And that's the best part. I couldn't have planned it to be such a great activity. I just had to be open to their ideas. I had to say yes.
The children's creativity had to cause the materials to creep together.