Thursday, October 31, 2013

Crafting with Kidlets


I was recently asked about my favorite thing to do.  Do you know what I wrote? Crafting with my kids.


I wish I was more artistic and more of a free spirit and, well, a lot of other things.  But I think because of that I try to make sure my kids have artistic experiences and opportunities.


I find creating relaxing and invigorating at the same time.  It is fulfilling and makes me happy.  I love playing with color and different mediums.  I want my kids to be able to experience the same happy calm that comes through the creative process.


Small disclaimer: Just because these are the things I want for my children, and you look at these pictures and think we craft everyday – we don’t.  Sometimes I hate pulling out the paint or the play-doh or the glue and paper and scissors and markers because I know it will make a mess.  Usually a big one.  And usually one I have to clean up mostly by myself.  I have to make a conscious decision to choose creativity over convenience.  And oftentimes I don’t make that decision.  I find it easier to invite creation when the dried on paint from the last venture is completely scraped off the dining room table and I can’t remember that it took me three weeks to clean it.  (I’m thinking a ratty old table cloth would make clean-up a lot easier.  I will have to try that.)


But the rewarding part to me is oh, so rewarding.  For instance, with Erik’s note project, he decided he wanted to create a stamp and stamp it all over for a background on his poster.  So we found a sponge to cut, he asked his brother to cut a block of wood for him on the saw in the garage, we heated up the glue gun, and – viola`- a self-made stamp is born.


Djeryd is working on a poster about Edgar Allan Poe at the moment for English.  My creative boy, because of past experience, came up with the idea to make a fluffy had for a skeleton so it looks like The Mask of the Red Death.  Out comes tissue paper, glue and a pencil.  And he is going to have a terrific poster when he’s done.


If I can try to remember my ultimate goal in all of this, it makes saying “yes” to the mess a whole lot easier.  My parents bought me a plaque I keep in my messy living space.  It says, “Please excuse the mess, the children are making memories.”  Djeryd is fond of reminding me of its wisdom when my internal mess-o-meter is going ballistic.  I remind myself the pathway to almost any worthy goal is slow going – so be patient and keep making creative messes.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Water and Sun and Heat


September had some really nice days in it this year.  For one of them Alyx and I trotted over to a nearby water park to play with some friends.


It was a nice way to squeeze in a little more summer.  Don’t you think water and sunshine are therapeutic?  We’ve miraculously had lots of sunshine lately, but the temperatures have dropped and won’t be back for several months.  I think I need to move to California.  There is just something about the bright sunshine sparkling up the water and the weather being warm enough to splash and play that makes me infinitely happy.


I’m glad Lu got in some extra splashing and playing before the season was completely over.  Until next year, water and sun and heat.  We will miss you.

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