In these workshops, I teach a class of primary school children about ways to be sustainable financially (via DIY) and environmentally (through the 3Rs: reduce/reuse/recycle). Children create their own ecobag which can then used to create a library of family fun packs, or Bags of Awesome.
In the first workshop, children are introduced to the idea of ecobags and the concept of their own, curated, library of “family fun packs”. They brainstorm ideas for fundraising, and then put a plan in place for the following few weeks to raise funds to purchase their own ecobags.
In the second workshop, children see their blank ecobags for the first time. We explore graphic and textile design across different cultures, including the children's own ethnic cultures. The children then design and create a stencil to print their own fabric eco-bag.
In the third workshop, students are supported to screenprint their own bag. This is done through a process of modelling how to screen-print, practicing on paper or a T-shirt brought from home, then doing the final print onto their bag.
If a Bags of Awesome library is to be established, the printed, bags are exhibited in a public (gallery) space. A call is put out to the community to fill the bags with games and resources that promote family interaction. Extra funds are used (from parental donations, grants and other sources) to fill in any gaps in the bags. The bags become a children's library of fun packs to be housed within their classroom and loaned each week for free.