DIY Summer Camp: Artistic Day in NYC

Madison-Sq-ParkThis Summer we are launching a series of DIY Summer Camp ideas intended for anyone to use! If you are a camp, caretaker, teacher, or parent who is looking for cool and affordable fun outings that you can do with kids throughout NYC then please take advantage of these and share them with people who will enjoy. We have teamed up with the awesome blog Teeny Tiny Foodie who is giving meal suggestions to go along with your day out! If you want to print this itinerary out and take it with you then see the bottom of the post for downloadable menus and instructions.


Artistic Day in NYC Overview

Children experience art in a unique and beautiful way. They see things for the first time and can create works of art with a potato and some paint. Children also have limited stamina and retention for the arts so it is important to keep your activities short and sweet. We chose sculpture as a good way to introduce children to what is possible with your hands.


All Ages


Time Frame:

  • 3 Hours Without Travel


Packing List:

  • Picnic Blanket or an Old Bed Sheet
  • Food and Snacks – See Below for Menu
  • Play Dough – We Suggest Eco Kids
  • Baby Wipes



Manhattan Uptown

alice74th Street Alice in Wonderland Sculpture in Central Park

East 74th Street, Alice in Wonderland stands eleven feet tall in spectacular bronze, surrounded by friends the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and a few others. The sculpture was constructed in 1959 by José de Creeft so that children could visit and experience a part of Lewis Carroll’s classic story. Unlike most sculptures, children are invited to climb, touch and crawl all over Alice and her friends. Through the decades thousands of hands and feet have literally polished parts of the statue’s surface smooth.

More info here

Manhattan Downtown

Orly GenterOrly Genger’s Red Yellow and Blue at Madison Square Park 23rd Street

The outdoor exhibit features the artists usage of intricately hand-knotted nautical rope covered in paint, creating a work that transforms the park’s lawns into colorfully-lined chambers that visitors can enjoy.

This installation consists of 1.4 million feet of rope—the total length equating to nearly 20 times the length of Manhattan—covered in over 3,000 gallons of paint, and weighing over 100,000 pounds. Red, Yellow and Blue uses re-purposed rope collected from hundreds of miles up and down the Eastern seaboard, bringing elements of the coastline to the urban setting of Madison Square Park. Together, three separate structures of layered rope shaped on-site by the artist will redefine the landscape of the park, creating interactive environments that will invite adults and children alike to explore both exposed and hidden spaces, encouraging them to navigate and experience Madison Square Park.

More info here


brooklyn-snappersBen Snead, Fish Farm (Brooklyn Snappers) Clumber Corner, Brooklyn, Brooklyn

Three large fish heads, including a lane snapper, a yellow tail snapper and a rock hind, sprout from the corner of this slopping lawn bordered by the Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.  All three species are found in local fish markets throughout Brooklyn. The fish live in tropical waters such as the Caribbean and are transported to New York City for human consumption. By enlarging them and placing them on the grass, they are taken even further out of context.

More info here


dezeen_Party-Wall-by-CODA-at-PS1_2MOMA PS1’s Party Wall by CODA Long Island City 

The MOMA PS1 courtyard has been transformed for the summer into a space that  children can interact with. This large structure is affixed to a tall steel frame that is balanced in place with large fabric containers filled with water. It is also clad with a sets of interlocking wooden elements donated by an Ithaca-based manufacturer of eco-friendly skateboards. The lower portion of the Party Wall’s façade is capable of shedding its “exterior,”  to be used as benches and communal tables. At various locations under the structure, pools of water serve as refreshing cooling stations.

More info here 


Talking Points:

Someone made this with their hands. Talk with children about how someone could have created this, how big it is, what tools they may have used and why they chose to make it out of its materials. Is it made to be outdoors? is it fragile? ask them questions about the work and see what their answers are. Let them explore the art and make their own observations on how it was created.

Nearby Local Playground/ Park Craft:

There are local parks near all of the locations that we mentioned. Find a good spot of grass, take out the play dough and ask the kids to create something with their hands. Try and use as few tools as possible. If you want, try hunting around the park for a stick or leaf, and impress it into the clay. See what kinds of natural patterns you can make with what is readily available. Once the creations are complete, ask then children where their art best fits into the space around you. Does it belong in a tree? on a rock? let then think of how the art can fit into the surrounding space. If you have a camera handy, take photos and tweet them at us @brooklynmamas! we would love to post them up on our site.


Food by Teeny Tiny Foodie


Oatmeal with Peanut Butter – Berries – Water

Homemade Granola

 1⁄3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
 1⁄4 cup raw sunflower seeds
 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
 1⁄2 cup raw almonds
 2⁄3-1 cup dried cherries, unsweetened
 11⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt, plus a couple pinches for the nuts  1⁄2 cup real maple syrup
 1⁄4 cup organic apple juice, unsweetened

Roast the seeds and nuts: Heat the oven to 350°.

On a large baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, spread the sunflower seeds and the pumpkin seeds in an even layer leaving about 1⁄3 of the sheet empty. (You’ll use it for the nuts). Bake the seeds for 3 minutes and remove the baking sheet. Spread the nuts onto the last third of the baking sheet and bake for 7 more minutes. Set aside to cool. Chop them well after they have cooled.

Lower the oven to 325°.

Heat the liquids:
In a small saucepan, heat the syrup, apple juice and cinnamon over medium heat. Let simmer for around 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally with a small whisk or fork.

Prepare the oat mixture:
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oats, sea salt, chopped nuts and seeds and mix through. Pour the heated liquids over the mixture and stir so it is all combined.

Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or lined with parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spread the mixture out into an even layer and bake for 20 minutes.

Add the fruit:
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir in the fruit. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Cool and enjoy.


White Bean and Spinach Hummus with Pita Chips & Fresh Fruit

White Bean Hummus with Spinach Recipe

 1 can white beans such as cannellini or northern, drained and rinsed
 1 handful organic baby spinach
 Smashed garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper, to taste  Juice of one lemon

Put beans, spinach, garlic, olive oil and juice of half a lemon into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

If needed, add more olive oil or lemon juice to make it creamier. Add salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne to taste.

Blend again. Adjust seasonings and olive oil plus lemon juice as needed.


String Cheese – Banana Bread – Water

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Dry ingredients:

 11⁄2 cups whole wheat flour      1⁄2 cup rolled oats
 2 teaspoons baking powder      1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
 1⁄2 teaspoon salt     1 tablespoon wheat germ      1 teaspoon ground ginger

Wet ingredients:

 1 teaspoon almond extract    3 tablespoons vegetable oil    1 cup maple syrup

 1 egg, lightly beaten   1⁄2 cup milk    2 large or 3 small mushy bananas, pureed


Preheat the oven to 350°.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

Whisk the wet ingredients together in a large bowl.

Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir only until it is all combined- don’t over stir .

Pour mixture into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 pan and bake for 35. Turn off oven and leave bread for an additional 10 minutes.




Artistic Day Menu

DIY Artistic Summer Camp Itinerary


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