Blast From the Past: 2018 Events

Groundhog Day at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

In January 2018, Art Sphere traveled to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum to celebrate Groundhog Day! We enjoyed nature walks, made groundhog puppets and coloring crafts, learned about climate science, and painted kids’ faces! 75 awesome kids each made their own groundhog that day! There were so many creative facepainting requests—check out the pictures! You can’t timetravel, but you can still visit the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum! 

Junior Duck Stamp Contest: It was tough, but our votes are in!

In April 2018, Art Sphere served on the judging panel for the Federal Duck Stamp contest, organized by John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Center at Tinicum and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service! Children from grades K to 12 were encouraged to pair a message with their very own duck stamp design for a chance to have their very own stamp chosen nationally! Some of the children’s messages said: 

“Treat the environment and all species with the same respect you give to yourself and your home.” (Age 9) 

“Every small act of conservation has a lasting impact on the future. No act is too small.” (Age 15) 

The Duck Stamp Contest creatively taught the children about the environment, giving them a chance to research and explore new animals!

Tints, Shades, and Painted Sharks

Art Sphere celebrated Shark Week in July 2018 with big and little kids! A lot happened that day: the children learned about art, visited a marine life company, and everyone celebrated “Christmas in July.” We discussed the color theory of tints (adding white to a color) and shades (adding black to a color). The children used this theory to paint ocean scenes for their sharks! Some children also mixed black and white paint to create gray. Art Sphere also read Ame Dyckman’s Misunderstood Shark to the children, which helped them learn about the habits of sharks! 

Rainbow Fish Plate Collage

Another fun July day in 2018! After reading Marcus Pfister’s book, Rainbow Fish, Art Sphere worked with the younger children at the Cione Recreation Center to create their own rainbow fish. The children enjoyed the story a lot and were able to discuss the importance of sharing. All the children then used construction paper and aluminum foil to create their own shining rainbow fish scales! 

It Takes a Village to Build a Village

In August 2018, Art Sphere worked to engage everyone in a collaborative craft project. Breaking out into two teams, the children were tasked with building a strong village! Asked about what a village needs to survive, the children discussed various ways to run their village and decided among themselves who was in charge. They created their own village structures, using materials like tinfoil, yellow envelopes, poster paper, and crayons. This exercise brought all the children together and helped them focus on teamwork! 


In another 2018 summer event, Art Sphere asked the children what their dream house looked like. Remembering the importance of not making assumptions about a child’s life outside of camp and school, we gave the children an opportunity to show everything they wanted in a playhouse. Their dream homes were all different: there were disco rooms, flowers, lots of pets, spiral staircases, and big TVs. Everyone was extremely proud of their houses; it was a great exercise for the children! 

Butterflies, Flowers, & Pollinator Gardens

The 2018 summer brought lots of colors and wildlife around Art Sphere! The children learned how to draw a jar and learned new art vocabulary; they learned about pyramids, patterns, and symmetry. Some ESL students learned the spelling of colors and shapes, too. Art Sphere adapted a project for all ages and encouraged the children to be like caterpillars: absorbing as much “food for thought” as possible, so they could grow into butterflies ready to explore their world! The children made origami butterflies and decorated them with markers. Everyone learned about butterfly wing patterns, butterfly migration, and the importance of butterflies and other pollinators in supporting plant life.

Spooky Ghosts, Creepy Cats, and an Adventurous Story

In October 2018, Art Sphere celebrated Halloween! Children made ghosts and cats out of construction paper. They decorated them with moons, bats, black circles, and whiskers. They learned to draw additional details, and the final products were amazing! Each ghost and cat was unique, and the children enjoyed the craft. Later that day, the children read Were Going on a Ghost Hunt, by Kris Hirschmann, a story about two very brave kids walking through the forest to find ghosts. The students were captivated by the story and learned about onomatopoeias, with phrases such as, creek, creek, creek” and “crunch, crunch, crunch.

Delicate Snowflakes, Pretty Ornaments, and Beautiful Poinsettias

When the Holiday season rolled around for Art Sphere in 2018, we celebrated the last day of the semester with lots of crafts and joy! The children started off making snowflakes; they folded a piece of paper multiple times and cut shapes to create symmetry and geometric patterns. Next, the children made ornaments from construction paper. After they decorated them and a string was added, the children took the ornaments home to hang on their Christmas trees. For the last craft of 2018, the children made red and green paper poinsettias. They learned how to fold them up like origami! Art Sphere celebrated that last class day of the year with an art show. The children proudly laid out their many creations, and their parents came to view them. As a gift, Art Sphere handed out packs of art supplies to encourage future creations!