Written by Alexia Springer, Program Coordinator

Program Mission: To forge community and connection to place through craft and to offer opportunities to foster creative spirit through exploring new hands-on skills, materials, and hobbies.

Program Goals

The second year of Kids Makers Morning (KMM) wrapped up a few weeks ago and the Ely Folk School is a bit quiet on Friday mornings without the sounds of rambunctious crafting kids. The program ran every Friday from June 16th through August 25th for three hours each morning. This year, Jen Toddie led activities for kids aged 3-6 in the little blue classroom while Bekah Lunn led the 7-12 year olds in the main building. Partnering with ECR again this year had a big impact on the success of the program. ECR staff led and supervised activities weekly and spent time outside of KMM with many of the kids that attended in other programs. This really made KMM have a community feel. Although many of the kids that attended are Ely locals, each week kids visiting from out of town also attended. KMM was also fortunate enough to have many Ely Folk School instructors teach their own respective crafts to the kids – pottery, storytelling, sewing, rock pigments, and more. EFS staff members played a major role in KMM each week, leading crafts and supervising in addition to communicating with parents and general organization. 

Each week the activities presented by instructors had a different theme and the day was usually broken down into two main crafts, snack, and open crafting time. Kids relished the responsibility of “Munchie Master” and often enjoyed baking more than eating the snack! Bekah and Jen excelled at coming up with some unique crafts for kids to experiment with this year. 

Thank you to everyone that donated time, money, or supplies for Kids Makers Morning this year. Special thanks to Ely Folk School instructors who taught activities during KMM this summer. And of course, thank you to all of the amazing kiddos that came and were open to experimenting and learning together. We hope to see you again next summer!

Garden highlights: Painting flower pots, painting a flower bed, planting flowers

Summer Solstice highlights: Beeswax luminaries, painting luminaries, homemade sun catchers, window stars, green muffins

Knot highlights: macrame plant holders, friendship bracelets, flower pounding

Dr. Seuss highlights: Dr. Seuss hats, oobleck, paper marbling, feather painting, truffula tree snacks

Paper Mache highlights: paper mache, collages

Blueberry Bash prep highlights: painting blueberries, painting a banner, painting with marbles, popcorn, decorating masks

Blueberry Bash highlights: decorating masks, smashing blueberry pinatas!

Tree highlights: birch bark bracelets, tree spirits, stick people, nature weaving, sun printing

 Highlights:  indigo dying, pick up truck opera, hat decorating

Storytelling highlights: storytelling board game, painting with rocks, self portraits

Sewing highlights: sewing bean bags, hand stitched animals, fairy fires

This program is free to all participating families and made possible by the generous support of individuals who donate to the Ely Folk School and Ely Community Resource, an Essentia Health Community Grant, Operation RoundUp from Lake Country Power, and by the voters of Minnesota with a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.