Our caretakers (and our kids) sometimes think of Hidden Treasures as Arts & Crafts. We always correct them and say it is not just Arts and Crafts. Have you ever wondered why?
It’s not that we don’t think Arts & Crafts is useful. In fact, Arts & Crafts are a great way for kids to express creativity. There is nothing wrong in it at all, and it can be a good experience for kids.
The reason we want it to be viewed differently is because of the way Arts & Crafts is received by many adults, especially in the environments of our kids. Most adults view Arts & Crafts as a way to keep kids occupied. Very few use it as anything more than a babysitter.
For the Hidden Treasures project to be more than an Arts & Crafts project it needs two key traits: an audience and a purpose.
First, for kids to gain the most out of their project, they need to be able to express their creativity, and expression usually requires an audience. Someone should see and appreciate that expression. Only then does it become a genuine “expression” of creativity.
Second, it needs to have purpose. There should be a purpose for the kid to express themselves, a purpose behind their effort. Without a belief in their purpose, kids will soon discover that it is meant to just keep them busy.
Learning a topic could be the purpose, inspiring themselves and others could be the purpose, or making a difference to someone could be the purpose.
As you can see, audience and purpose go hand in hand. That is why Hidden Treasures is designed the way it is.
It is an expression of the kids creativity to achieve their purpose for the benefit of their audience. In this way, Hidden Treasures transforms Arts & Crafts.