Through a Child’s Eyes

Ever have those moments when you think you see something but your eyes are playing tricks on you? Say the lights are dim and you think you see an image of a dog reflected in the shadow of furniture or you might see an image in the clouds.

Well, the other day getting out of the car at the mall parking lot Violet started laughing and kept saying “look at the laughing, smiling face!” It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about until I looked up at the street light in the nearby highway and saw this huge grin smiling down on me!

Ahh, to take a moment to see things through a child’s eyes. To just slow down enough to let our imaginations have some fun is a real treat!

Holiday Craft Exchange and Playdate

This is truly a brilliant idea. I can’t take credit but I’ve enjoyed participating in a holiday craft exchange for the second year in a row now.  Here’s what it is: a playdate where each Mom brings a simple holiday craft packaged and ready for as many kids that will be at the party. Ten seems to be a good number. Have some fun playing, have each mom explain what they brought and any special directions for the craft.. but the best part is going home with 10 different crafts that you can pull out on a snowy day. The result? Some fun and creativity with minimal effort in coming up with the craft AND instant gifts your child can give to a grandparent or relative that is uniquely made by your child.

And the proud result…

Mila’s Daydreams

This is one of those “I wish I had thought of that!” creative ideas. A mother in Finland, a copywriter and concept designer in advertising currently on maternity leave, keeps her creativity alive every day by creating mini vignettes where she dresses and places her sleeping baby within these really fun and whimsical themed scenes.  The scenes all deriving from what mom imagines baby might be dreaming about. The blog is called Mila’s Daydreams and is definitely worth checking out.

First thought of most mother’s viewing this site: “Wow, she has a good napper on her hands!” Second thought: “Must be nice to have all this free time to set up the scene!”

But seriously, this goes to show that a good idea with a lot of legs becomes really easy to execute. Really, the possibilities are endless. So clever! I especially love how the titles enhance the visual… like this one…

“Attack of the 50 foot woman’s baby!”

or “The Paperdoll”

Mila is just so precious! And what a wonderful keepsake for both mother and child!

Toddler Repetition Compulsion

Notice how kids can do certain things over and over and over again?  We took Violet to a farm on the weekend with some other friends and we couldn’t seem to pull her away from milking this cow!

I try not to interfere with her natural and inherent need to do things repeatedly. After all she was doing very important work. She was perfecting the movement of squeezing and filling up the bucket with water again and again… and as much as I sometimes don’t understand it I really try to let her be when she gets into her repetition mode until she has enough. But, after an hour of standing around this cow, something had to give. There was more to see and do, not to mention there were other kids that wanted to ‘milk the cow’. Eventually, we pulled her away.

What a funny little phase kids go through! According to Dr. Maria Montessori it’s really important to not interfere with this natural need for repetition as she says (if my memory serves me) it gets in the way of a child’s character development. I can see that actually. Imagine you’re at the park and you’re on a mission to climb up a ladder and go down a slide and you’re having so much fun you want to do it again and again. Then, someone comes along and picks you up once you’ve gone down the slide and takes you to the swing, but you’re still thinking about the slide and were just getting into a rhythm. There’s a loss of concentration and power in what it was you were enjoying. There’s a bit of disappointment there, unless of course you really love swings..  😉

So, what do you think, are we messing with character development when we interfere with our kid’s repetition compulsion?

Art In The Park ~ Painting In The Park

Well, I have to say our first Art Group experience was a success! All of our little friends created masterpieces under the shade of the trees on this beautiful summer day. Every single child (6 in total) were immersed in painting for upwards of fifteen minutes. Not bad for 2 and 3 year olds! Did I mention there was a park complete with swings and slides within 100 meters? I was quite impressed and inspired watching the little hands mix colours and spread the paint so freely. We even had a little Jackson Pollack in the group!

I decided to keep the first Art Group activity straight-forward but added a little twist to give each child a personalized outcome to their artwork. I brought watercolour paper, tempera paints and brushes and palettes of course. But, I pre-cut the first initial to each child’s name using my handy Silhouette machine and contact paper.  The idea comes from this Watercolor Initials project. Unfortunately I don’t have the finished products as the artwork was too wet to peel the contact paper before our art date was over. I’ll have to see if I can get some photos of the final pieces.  But really, the fun (for me) is watching the kids create. It was a happy morning. I’m looking forward to the next one!

Art In The Park ~ Art Group Take 1

I’m very excited! I’ve organized an art group that is meeting for the first time tomorrow morning!! We’re gathering at our local Lakeside Park – the perfect inspiration for our little artists.  Looking forward to tracking our experiences here!

I must give credit to Jean at The Artful Parent for sharing her art group experiences and providing some of the inspiration it took me to finally get our group up and running. Thanks Jean!