Toddlers make a mess at Boardman Park


While mixing up the ingredients for his play-doh, Nathanael Warner (left) got a helping hand from his mom Natalie.


Neighbors | Sarah Foor .Matthew Rossi was mighty proud of the picture frame he decorated at the Boardman Park Crafty Sprouts art program on Feb. 15.


Marc Bigelow (standing) was only there to supervise as his son Lucas got his hands dirty with a play-doh mixture.


After the kids made the play-doh at the Crafty Sprouts art program, they were free to play with their creations. Kelsey McCallum mixed her play-doh with other colors for a bit of variety.


The 3 to 5-year-olds visiting Boardman Township Park on Feb. 15 made a mess in the Georgianna Parker Building’s activity room.

But they didn’t get in trouble, because it was actually an encouraged component of the Crafty Sprouts art program, a five-week class on creativity and hands-on activity.

The Crafty Sprouts program, along with its sister program, KinderArt for 6 to 8-year-olds, was planned by park activities director Karen McCallum and art teacher Andi Lamarca. From Feb. 8 to March 8, the Tuesday Crafty Sprouts program provides parents and kids with supplies for three collaborative, and often messy, crafts.

“We’re allowing the kids to explore their own creativity,” said Lamarca. “The parents are instructed to let the kids choose the project, and let them explore and get dirty. They can’t rush the process. We’re teaching that the end result isn’t important — it’s about letting the kids find out what they can do with their own imagination on their own time.”

For the weekly Crafty Sprout’s second program on Feb. 15, McCallum and Lamarca provided stations for the toddlers to make and then handle Play-doh and another area to create picture frames.

While Lucas Bigelow was busy stirring his Play-doh mixture, his dad, Marc, shared why his son was enjoying Crafty Sprouts.

“Lucas loves anything that makes a mess,” he said with a laugh.

Jennifer Innocenzi and her son, Luca, had similar reasons to stop by.

“Luca loves crafts and anything hands-on. The program is in the afternoon, but the minute he woke up this morning, he said, ‘Is it time to go to Crafty Sprouts yet?”

As the class closed, McCallum reminded the group of another perk of the program.

“All of you get to leave us with the mess!”

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