“Not another delivery” was my husband’s response to the box that arrived for us mid lockdown. At this point we were averaging two per day and had become well acquainted with the delivery guy (first name terms and enquiring about his family). But no. This box was not just another delivery, it was the materials to participate in an at home session with Nature’s Architects.
Nature’s Architects are sessions from the Museums of Architecture that aim to educate the next generation about design, problem solving, buildings, nature and art. These sessions would be delivered face to face in the before times of Covid-19, but like everything, they have had to quickly adapt and move to the digital realm.
I was a bit anxious. The kid is very active and not great with Zoom sessions (we had tried a digital dance class and various yoga sessions. All were abandoned after the first couple of minutes.)
But the box that was delivered had some cool materials inside it, including clay, stretchy weaving fabric and colourful cardboard straws. Worst case scenarios we could make a new plant pot (we’ve done pottery before and often play with plasticine so there is always hope).
We were both beyond impressed with the session. Firstly I have to mention that it was a lesson in nature where we drew inspiration from the natural environment and the week we joined it was all about spiders. We love spiders in this house (more the kid than this arachnophobe narrator). We observe spider’s webs regularly and delight in seeing one feast on a fly.
The sessions are recommended for ages 4 and above and you can see why, as the children are expected to concentrate through the first 20 minutes, which is a challenge in real life, let alone through Zoom. It was educational for both child and adult to learn about biomimicry or how some buildings and structures have taken inspiration from the natural world.
Somehow we made it through and finally got to the fun part of designing our own dwelling and put a new spin on incy wincy spider. We used the colourful stretchy material to build our spider’s house (toddler’s choice) and then saw the other creations in the group before presenting our own. Children have the opportunity to think creatively about structures and buildings, start asking questions and learning about different materials.
Nature’s Architects have a variety of sessions throughout the summer holidays including I want to be an architect, a 4 session course that will have children exploring how they can have a role in shaping our future city. All of the materials to participate at home are sent in advance and you are guided throughout the activities step by step. Ideally for children aged 5 and above. Sign up by Tuesday 14th of July to receive all materials on time. More information and booking here.