Despite rainy conditions keeping activities indoors this year, more than a dozen children had a good time making crafts and learning about nature during the Kingsville Parks and Recreation’s annual Christmas Break Arts and Outdoors Camp held last Thursday.

“They can’t go out there, so we’re bringing nature to them,” Recreation Coordinator Nora Martinez said.

Martinez said the Kingsville Parks and Recreation Department hosts the camp every year at the end of the winter break before students return to school.

“They’ve been at home for almost two weeks, and we are trying to keep them active,” she said. “We also have activities for them during Spring Break and the summer.”

While Martinez said the original plan for the camp included both indoor and outdoor activities, steady rainfall throughout the day forced organizers to keep everything inside this year.

“We’re making it work,” she said. “There’s plenty that we can do indoors.”

One activity challenged children to create a bird nest using a balloon and a variety of craft materials such as paper, yarn and artificial moss.

“So they cover the balloon with glue and stick the materials all over it,” Martinez said. “And while it dries, we’ll watch a video about how and why birds build nests.”

Once their bird nests dry, the children then popped the balloon to create a hollow area inside the craft materials that birds will be able to use as shelter.

Jace Garza, 6, said he had a lot of fun adding things to his nest, although he had a hard time getting it all to stick to the balloon.

“I need to make it soft,” Jace said as his glue-covered hands struggled to keep the moss on top of his bird nest. “So the birds can be comfy.”

The Bishop Primary School kindergartner said he was going to place his nest on a tree outside of his house when he gets home.

Codi Yanta, 9, took a more artistic approach to her bird nest.

“I made it green for spring, and then I put in white for winter,” Codi said. “The green is for nature and the white looks like snow. But I think I need more aqua feathers.”

Codi said she likes art, with her favorite being abstract art because “it’s beautiful.” She said she wants to some day be a famous artist.

“This is my first time (making a nest), and I’m already really good at it,” she said as she added more white to the top of her nest. “I’m also really good at drawing sea monsters.”

Codi said she does not plan on putting her nest outside, instead opting to put it in her room “where I can imagine that hummingbirds who can talk live in there.”

“Or even an owl or something like that,” she said.

The Christmas Break Art and Outdoor Camp was held at the Dick Kleberg Park recreation hall last Thursday from 1-5 p.m. For information on upcoming park events and activities, visit City of Kingsville Parks and Recreation Facebook page @kingsvilletxparks or the City of Kingsville website at cityofkingsville.com.

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