Here is Tapook's first art workshop using PlayART in a classroom!

Tapook visited the Elementary School of Albairate, just outside Milan, yesterday. Equipped with four iPads, a printer and our Monet artist’s stool, we had the chance to work together with the amazing art educator, Egle, from “Arte per Gioco” an organisation specialised in art education, based in Milan. Hopefully this is the first workshop of many more to come, with the aim to give children the chance to explore new ways of learning and be creative.

For the occasion they reserved for us the school's lab room with an interactive whiteboard to which we were able to connect our iPad. When everything was in place and ready, children breezed in with joyful greetings!
On the teachers' request we dedicated the workshop solely to Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh.
Egle gave a delightful introduction on the two artists by showing some of the paintings in the Artists’ Gallery of PlayART on the interactive whiteboard.
Then it was our turn to present PlayART and explain to children what they could do with it. George, the chief Tapooker, was very good at building anticipation and by the time we annouced it was time for them to create a painting with elements both from Monet and Van Gogh, they were clapping their hands in sheer excitement.

Two workshops with two classes, the 3B and the 3A, each divided in four groups named after the flowers painted by Monet and Van Gogh: Irises, Sunflowers, Waterlilies and Clematis, for a total of more than 40 children, three teachers and 24 paintings made with PlayART.

What happened during the four hours we spent with the children reminded us why we created PlayART and love what we do.

Here are some of our favourite moments:

• when George asked children what it takes to be an artist and they amazed us by answering fantasy and passion;

• children rigorously taking turns in choosing elements to add to their paintings and in writing each a letter for the authour’s name and the painting’s title (and that included the space bar, too!);

• the wave of enthusiam and thrill that rose from the children when George explained that after playing with Monet and Van Gogh they could also create a third painting by combining elements from all the artists in PlayART;

• some of the surreal stories children told us to explain their paintings: a Rousseau monkey fighting against aliens that landed in a jungle on one of Klee’s triangle shape turned into a spaceship, or a lunatic desert with a Monet/Rousseau tiger moon getting tipsy on a Cézanne’s still life bottle, just to share some;

• at the end of the workshops when we explained to one of the teachers how to connect her iPad to the interactive whiteboard and could see on her face that a new horizon of possibilities opened up before her eyes!

Here is a selection of the most imaginative paintings for each group:

"Il signore innamorato" (The gentleman in love) by the Clematis 3A


"La camera in natura" (The room in nature") by the Waterlilies 3B


"Il deserto lunatico" (The lunatic desert), by the Irises 3A


"La foresta buffa" (The funny forest) by the Sunflowers 3B



Finally, images tell the story better than words:

Egle, on the right, introduces Claude Monet and George, on the left, sits on the Monet's stool


Children discuss Monet and who should add the next element


Close attention to some Van Gogh detail


"Is there a night table to go with Vincent's bed?"


Adding the finishing touch to Monet