Seven-year-old Viviana Rickert celebrated the Fourth of July a few days earlier when she designed a colorful red, white and blue cut glass flag at Margie's Art Glass.
Viviana and her twin sister, Elena, were among the kids in the YMCA Day Camp program who visit Margie's Art Glass every Tuesday to do a different art project. This week's theme was in honor of American's 238th birthday.
"Some kids will make flags, others will make flowers," said YMCA Day Camp instructor Kristin Paulson.
YMCA Day Camp teacher Kristin Paulson helps Elena Rickert, 7, with her project on Tuesday at Margie’s Art Glass.
All of the kids were carefully cutting pieces of special red and blue glass, which they then arranged on a white background. Margie Bolton, owner of the art studio, then put them into her kiln to bake.
Once the designs have set, the kids can come back and collect their art creations on Thursday.
Bolton showcases the different designs done by kids at her studio on her Facebook page. Hers is a drop-in art studio, but she often hosts school groups or day camps like the YMCA.
Art is a great way for children to express themselves creatively, but also to work through difficult feelings, such as grief after the death of a parent, said Bolton. It also has social benefits. She said she enjoys seeing art help bring a shy child out of his shell.
"I kind of have a heart for the kids that aren't as outgoing," said Bolton, who said she also enjoys working with the gregarious kids. "They're all different."
During future sessions, kids might work on painting or create mosaics at her studio, said Bolton.
Paulson said the children do many different activities during the week. This week kids will visit Cookies for You, the Triangle Y Camp at Garrison, visit the local water park and the Taube Museum of Art.
The day camp for 6 to 11-year-olds is nine weeks, but parents could sign their kids up for one week at a time if they chose.
Paulson, a teacher, said this is her first year teaching the Day Camp at the YMCA in Minot but she had previously taught the YMCA Day Camp in Grand Forks.
"I enjoy just spending time with the kids, getting to know them," said Paulson.
The other teacher is Callie Wells, who called it the "best job ever."
Paulson said the class size is limited to 20 kids. She thinks the day camp sessions are all full, but she suggested calling the YMCA for further information about available camps.
Triangle Y Camp is also in session at Garrison.