art-ing with kids

Oh the chaos of paint smatterings, sticky stampings, dough squashing, marker markings, glitter dustings and fiber twistings.  There is not denying it.  It is nothing but pure madness most of the time.  None the less, us mama’s and papa’s continue to painstakingly set up these crazy projects in hopes to let our little one’s creativity shine through.

It is hard to see the results right away.  At the youngest ages they tend to just… well… eat the projects.  If you are one of the lucky ones they may realize there is paper in front of them and disengage from stamping/drawing/painting directly onto their skin.  Then they become engrossed in the dipping process.  It occurs to them that dipping the brush into gooey thick color is much more fascinating than actually using the brush to make a stroke (nevermind fill a page).  Some children move on from these stages sooner than others of course.  Others tend to let their creativity linger inside a bit longer.

While tis true that my boys happen to be in the latter category, of the late I have seen a bit of that magic happen.  Little legs and spindly arms have begun to reach across the page, even some hair is sprouting up here and there.  Of course, my youngest babe is still more into body art than anything else, resulting in bath time fun or a hose down depending on the weather.  Which is equally enjoyed for that matter.  Either way, the half hour set up, for the five-minute work time is beginning to appear to be quite worth it.

There are a couple of things I have realized help my boys keep focused and interested in creating.  I see that they work a little longer on their respective piece when I am participating alongside.  On my own masterpiece of course.  Or, they tend to be a bit more steady handed when I allow a mess and say to myself, “sigh… forget it, that table looks better decorated a touch anyways”.  Of course, the materials are of more importance than I once would have imagined.  If the quality is poor, their attention and care is slim.  If it creates something of beauty, than they usually delve in with much more vigor.  (As do I, don’t you?)  Finally, their sense of accomplishment is multiplied when they themselves are the ones to hang or display their art.  Often, Miles picks his own room, which I find to be sweet.

Oh these tidbits of knowledge are by no means advice for others on how to proceed with their little one’s “art-ing”.  These are just things that heave been helping me on my own journey through the perils of my stay at home mama days.  With out fail they always include some sort of project, it is in my nature, and it is glorious to have some ammunition for the imminent battle of paints.  The sopping and scraping of tempera and watercolors vs. your truly.

A battle worth fighting I believe.

Instilling the desire to create is something we value, as do many of you!  Showing my boys that there is a little part of your brain, a little something deep inside that moves us to use our hands and come out bettered and fulfilled is part of our daily life.  I write down in a little book the random ideas that pop up in my chattering brain of wild and simple things to do, I gather supplies (mostly things around the house), and onward we go.

What are you going to make today?

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