Kids’ Carpentry turns students’ imagination into toys

Kids’ Carpentry winter participants’ creations.

On Saturday afternoons, kids at Magnolia Community Center aren’t playing with toys; they’re learning how to build them.

This winter, Instructor Loren Kite is teaching his Kids’ Carpentry class in Seattle Parks and Recreation  community centers for the first time. Kids’ Carpentry is a hands-on toy-building class designed to teach boys and girls ages 5-10 practical woodworking skills with an emphasis on the safe use of hand tools. The students are empowered to construct wooden toys of their own creation, building self-esteem, confidence and life skills.

“It seemed really interesting to learn how to build my own things,” student Ruby said. “I’m building a table to put my stuff on in my room because it’s really messy.”

A student named Mark said he joined the class because he wanted to be able to learn outside of school hours. “I get really bored on the weekends,” Mark said. “I thought this class would be really cool. I’ve built a wooden car and cell phone.”

The course is five sessions. Participants learn the names of different tools, how to measure wood for their projects and the safe way to use tools.

Instructor Loren Kite brought Kids’ Carpentry to the Seattle area after teaching it for two years in the Bay Area. Kite grew up woodworking with his father. He received his Bachelor in Fine Arts in Production Management from the Theatre School at DePaul University and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Carpentry from Seattle Central College’s Center for Wood Construction.

Kids’ Carpentry will be offered at Magnolia Community Center again this spring and Kite will host four different Kids’ Carpentry summer day camps at Green Lake Community, Magnolia Community Center, Queen Anne Community Center and Miller Community Center. For more information about camp registration, please see the summer day camp brochure.

Kids learn, have fun at Camp Long’s NatureQuest Summer Day Camp

Award-winning author Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” for children who are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of negative physical, mental and emotional consequences.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Camp Long NatureQuest Summer Day Camp in West Seattle has just the “cure” for this disturbing trend: fun and educational day camp in the great outdoors.

Beginning Monday, June 30, 2014, summer day camp program hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at different park locations in West Seattle, depending on the week. See the schedule below. Fees are $215 per week (sibling discount $10) unless otherwise noted. Register by calling 206-684-7434

Week 1 (6/30-7/3):  Watershed Wonders (Camp Long) ($175; sibling discount $8 pro-rated 4 day week)
Wonder what’s a watershed? Come discover the Longfellow Creek Watershed and follow the creek through magical places like the Salmon Bone Bridge and the Dragonfly Pavilion. Learn how land and water shape each other, observe creek wildlife and build a watershed model. We’ll also hold a Science Council to make decisions about an imaginary watershed, while exploring the many ways humans affect our watersheds.

Week 2 (7/7-7/11):  Journey through the Intertidal Zone (Mee Kwa Mooks Park)
Search for life between the tides and discover how plants and animals have adapted to such changing conditions. Set up a beach science station where you can examine animals in their unique habitat. Learn how sea stars move, how clams and barnacles eat, and much more about the critters you find above and below the rocks, sand and water.

Week 3 (7/14-7/18):  Urban Wildlife Jungle (Camp Long)
It is a jungle out there and worth investigating! Seattle is one of the Top 10 Cities for Urban Forests. Become a scientist and explore this urban wilderness in the Camp Long woods. Unearth the forest’s secrets and learn how hawks, owls, coyotes, fox and a multitude of songbirds live here. In every layer you’ll find clues. Identify native plant species that have grown here for centuries and investigate the role forests have in human survival.  Learn how you can be involved in forest protection.

Week 4 (7/21-7/25):  Schmitz Park Wildlife Jungle (Schmitz Park)
What makes Schmitz forest special are some very old trees still standing. Wander through this native ecosystem and gather clues as to how everything is connected. Explore huge old tree stumps and see evidence of logging from years ago.

Week 5 (7/28-8/1):  History Happenings (Schmitz Park)
The natural and human history of Seattle is rich and diverse. From glaciers to Native Americans to European settlers, this area has a lot to tell.  How did Puget Sound form?  Where and how did Northwest Coast Indians live?  And what major changes have occurred through the centuries? Take a treasure hunt around West Seattle to find your answers to these questions and more.

Week 6 (8/4-8/8):  Winged Wonders (Lincoln Park)
Birds live in every habitat – forest, desert, fresh and salt water, icy, tropical – you name it, they are everywhere. Get to know the avian life all around us and gain skill at observing and identifying the numerous birds of Seattle. Learn using sight and sound, as well as watching behavior, how these adaptive creatures have survived and ways that we can support them. Binoculars are provided. 

Week 7 (8/11-8/15):  Watershed Wonders (Longfellow Creek South)
Learn the ways of a watershed as described above, but explore a different section of Longfellow Creek. Journey through restored areas of the creek and discover the wildlife that has also altered it. See beaver dams and study beaver ways to appreciate their unique impact on land and water.

Week 8 (8/18-8/22):  Survivor Week (Camp Long)
Could you survive a night in the forest? Create a shelter, build a safe fire and cook outdoors? Do all that and more in learning the art of nature survival. Gain skills at identifying edible plants and berries and which plants to avoid. Build confidence and ability to become most secure in a forest setting.

 

Kids learn, have fun at Camp Long’s NatureQuest Summer Day Camp

Award-winning author Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” for children who are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of negative physical, mental and emotional consequences.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Camp Long NatureQuest Summer Day Camp in West Seattle has just the “cure” for this disturbing trend: fun and educational day camp in the great outdoors.

Beginning Monday, June 30, 2014, summer day camp program hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at different park locations in West Seattle, depending on the week. See the schedule below. Fees are $215 per week (sibling discount $10) unless otherwise noted. Register by calling 206-684-7434

Week 1 (6/30-7/3):  Watershed Wonders (Camp Long) ($175; sibling discount $8 pro-rated 4 day week)
Wonder what’s a watershed? Come discover the Longfellow Creek Watershed and follow the creek through magical places like the Salmon Bone Bridge and the Dragonfly Pavilion. Learn how land and water shape each other, observe creek wildlife and build a watershed model. We’ll also hold a Science Council to make decisions about an imaginary watershed, while exploring the many ways humans affect our watersheds.

Week 2 (7/7-7/11):  Journey through the Intertidal Zone (Mee Kwa Mooks Park)
Search for life between the tides and discover how plants and animals have adapted to such changing conditions. Set up a beach science station where you can examine animals in their unique habitat. Learn how sea stars move, how clams and barnacles eat, and much more about the critters you find above and below the rocks, sand and water.

Week 3 (7/14-7/18):  Urban Wildlife Jungle (Camp Long)
It is a jungle out there and worth investigating! Seattle is one of the Top 10 Cities for Urban Forests. Become a scientist and explore this urban wilderness in the Camp Long woods. Unearth the forest’s secrets and learn how hawks, owls, coyotes, fox and a multitude of songbirds live here. In every layer you’ll find clues. Identify native plant species that have grown here for centuries and investigate the role forests have in human survival.  Learn how you can be involved in forest protection.

Week 4 (7/21-7/25):  Schmitz Park Wildlife Jungle (Schmitz Park)
What makes Schmitz forest special are some very old trees still standing. Wander through this native ecosystem and gather clues as to how everything is connected. Explore huge old tree stumps and see evidence of logging from years ago.

Week 5 (7/28-8/1):  History Happenings (Schmitz Park)
The natural and human history of Seattle is rich and diverse. From glaciers to Native Americans to European settlers, this area has a lot to tell.  How did Puget Sound form?  Where and how did Northwest Coast Indians live?  And what major changes have occurred through the centuries? Take a treasure hunt around West Seattle to find your answers to these questions and more.

Week 6 (8/4-8/8):  Winged Wonders (Lincoln Park)
Birds live in every habitat – forest, desert, fresh and salt water, icy, tropical – you name it, they are everywhere. Get to know the avian life all around us and gain skill at observing and identifying the numerous birds of Seattle. Learn using sight and sound, as well as watching behavior, how these adaptive creatures have survived and ways that we can support them. Binoculars are provided. 

Week 7 (8/11-8/15):  Watershed Wonders (Longfellow Creek South)
Learn the ways of a watershed as described above, but explore a different section of Longfellow Creek. Journey through restored areas of the creek and discover the wildlife that has also altered it. See beaver dams and study beaver ways to appreciate their unique impact on land and water.

Week 8 (8/18-8/22):  Survivor Week (Camp Long)
Could you survive a night in the forest? Create a shelter, build a safe fire and cook outdoors? Do all that and more in learning the art of nature survival. Gain skills at identifying edible plants and berries and which plants to avoid. Build confidence and ability to become most secure in a forest setting.