OGDEN -- AmyLee Duersch examined the stack of brightly colored pipe cleaners, intent on choosing the best combination to twist into a headband.
Did the Ogden 6-year-old plan to wear the hair ornament someplace extra-special?
"Yes," AmyLee answered, excitedly. "My head."
Lorin Farr Park on Monday was packed with hundreds of children, school age or younger, who came for a free kid's summer lunch offered each year by Ogden School District, and who stayed for the first day of Arts in the Parks.
Weber State University's Arts in the Parks program spends the noon hour at a given park for five weekdays, then moves to the next Ogden park on its six-week tour.
Monday at Lorin Farr Park, 769 Canyon Road, projects represented the visual arts. Today and Wednesday's themes at Lorin Farr are music and dance. Thursday brings drama, in the form of theater and puppets. Friday's focus is the literary arts, as shared by storytellers.
Children finished their lunches on the park's pavilion, then wandered over to check four Arts in the Parks tables, stocked with supplies for a creative project. Choices included pipe cleaner sculptures (including headbands); frames and shapes made of Popsicle-style sticks; crayon drawings; and cut-paper collages. About 75 children bellied up to the four tables, with others standing by for an opening or racing off to show masterpieces to waiting parents.
"We are trying to support the arts in people's lives," said Kathryn MacKay, one of the event organizers and a history professor at Weber State University. "We want to support the notion that everyone can be creative. Art is not as strongly supported in schools as it should be. We try to use the same kind of inexpensive materials children might find in their homes."
Donations from sponsors provide the materials. Among the sponsors are RAMP, Ogden city, Weber County Library and the Alan and Jeanne Hall Foundation.
"It's something fun to do," said Martie Maddock, of Ogden, who brought her children Megan, 13, Garth, 11, and Ellie, 9. "It gives them ideas for different projects at home. Ellie wants to be an art teacher, so she's picking up tips."
"You get to make things' Ellie said. "It's awesome."
Megan made a complex collage of jagged scraps of construction paper.
"I call it, 'Junior High," she said of the piece. "I like art. Drawing is my favorite. I always get more creative ideas when I'm drawing."
Richard Reyes, of Ogden, brought his four sons, infant to age 12, and daughter Abigail, 5.
"We came for the lunch and to play at the park," Reyes said. "My kids enjoy art, especially Abigail. She loves doing art and being here with other kids who like to do art. Sometimes the boys just like to be outside, punching each other."
Abigail's drawings were destined for the fridge-front gallery, her father said.
Elizabeth Brakefield, of Ogden, planned to hang daughter Amy's non-headband creations on the walls, along with those of daughter Emily, 3.
"They love to make stuff, and they love that there are people here to help them," Brakefield said.
Rebecca Mikkelsen, a Hooper resident in her 50s, was one of two dozen or so WSU volunteers.
"I volunteer for programs that have to do with kids," said Mikkelsen, a freshman studying early childhood education. "It's key to give kids a good start. When school is out, their brains aren't stimulated. I've seen amazing creativity here today."
Mikkelsen flipped through a stack of drawings that featured dragons, earth worms, butterflies, Transformers, flowers, sea snakes and Avengers.
"I like to see their little brains going," she said. "This art was made by some stimulated brains."
Arts in the Parks continues from noon to 1 p.m.
through Friday at Lorin Farr Park. The rest of the schedule is:
* Liberty Park, 751 21st St., Monday-June 14;
* Monroe Park, 850 30th St., June17-21;
* Jaycee Park, 2564 Fillmore Ave., June 24-28;
* Mount Ogden Park, 3144 Taylor Ave., July 1-3;
* West Ogden Park, 751 24th St., July 8-12.