9 January 2014

RAINY DAYS AND ART PLAY


After a gunning start to the new year, this week I succumbed to my first cold of 2014 – hence the radio silence – all of the Christmas partying and New Years Eve drinking finally caught up with me, and I had been left rendered useless. All my energy had been channeled into entertaining a very bouncy three year old who seemed quite unsympathetic to my plight. But after a few days of rest, numerous tonics, fresh fruit and salad it looks like my body may have forgiven me and the groggy head is lifting.

Yesterday was particularly wet with grey skies and F was starting to loose his patience being cooped up with a croaky and grumpy me. I racked my brains for something to do which was low impact and quiet, so when he suggested painting I wasn't convinced. Why? This normally ends in paint splashed on the curtains, me turning into some weird monster control freak as to how he should use the paints – don't mix the all colours! – and him going into a sulk. Not wanting a tantrum, I set everything out on the table and sat beside him with some hot lemon water, wishing myself well.

Where I would normally jump in, I didn't. F happily mixed the colours away, there was minor collateral damage to the curtains, but I didn't care. To be honest I didn't have the energy to get too involved so I happily sat, thankful for the 45 minutes of peace as he painted page after page, all with a running commentary of what he was doing.

"Mummy it's a fish, with a postbox because it has underwater letters.  
Look that's a rose bush with fireworks behind it, they're pretty things for you..."

I was quite surprised how long this held his attention, it didn't matter that he wasn't always painting recognisable things, his descriptions were beautiful. I suddenly felt awkward and a bit guilty that I had been stifling his creative side by getting over involved and dare I say it... critical. Who cares if he mixes all the colours and it makes a stodgy brown? He certainly doesn't. After the paintings dried he talked me through them again and picked out his favourite. We used his blackboard wall to create a gallery in his room, drawing frames to stick his paintings in. You could see the pride beaming out of him as I bit back some of the mama guilt. Oh they're beautiful I exclaimed. As soon as Paul arrived home he was rushed straight through to his bedroom by a excitable F "Come see my exhibition Daddy".

So that'll be me adding another 'Do' to 2014. Do not interfere when F is happily involved in child lead play. Lesson received and learnt. 


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42 comments

  1. I think I often interfere too much when the boy is playing, especially with crafts. I should really try and sit back a bit more.

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    1. Stepping back is something new I'm having to learn for 2014. I always seem to jump in even when i'm not needed. It will take some practise I'm sure x

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  2. I really enjoyed this post. The warmth and enjoyment you both felt in this activity shines through and your photos are lovely.

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    1. Thanks :) F certainly loved having free reign and was very pleased to finish my cuppa. It's great watching him get creative x

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  3. I used to take over when my kids were crafting at home.11 years on and it's still hard but I think encouragement is the key and learn to find your own crafts to do ;)

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    1. I'm definitely going to take your advise and use encouragement all the way x

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  4. Beautiful pictures & such a great idea for (& stylish way of) displaying them - his own exhibition! He must have just loved that. Hope you're feeling better soon.

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    1. Thanks :) He even asked me to invite his friend over to see his exhibition – a budding artist in the making x

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  5. Such a good idea for a dreary day, which we are having in abundance in my neck of the woods

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    1. Another week of rain next week so I'll need to come up with a few more creative crafts for this guy x

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  6. Fabulous post - bless him for doing page after page after page! There's no stopping them once they get going. Hope you feel better soon :)

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  7. You can't go wrong with paints, as long as you have a big plastic sheet on the table and floor and a big apron for the little one :-D

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    1. Learning that fast :) Just need to try and move the curtains out of reach too x

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  8. aww this is lovely! Wilf loves to paint also and although I'm kind of happy for him to do whatever I do get a bit grumpy about the mess so we rarely do it! I must learn to just let him get on with it and make a mess if needs be! We did some painting this morning and now I'm thinking of doing the same on our chalkboard wall! xx

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    1. Ooh I'd love to see some pics of Wilf's paintings, I imagine he's quite the creative one xx

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  9. When ever one of my girls does a picture, i always write down what they explain it is. It is amazing what things they can see that you can't and how their imagination works :) It can be just a few squiggles to you, but to them it's a whole fantasy world with animals every where ;) x

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    1. Such a good idea, I'm definitely going to jot down what they are on the reverse so we have them for future reference x

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  10. his pics are great! love the photos especially the gallery what a lovely idea

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  11. Aw that looks like so much fun - lovely photos too x

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    1. he enjoyed it so much that I'm going to try and make messy craft play a frequent event in our flat x

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  12. I'm guilty of that as well and have to try really hard not to get too involved in the crafts. I've noticed my mum's worse when she's helping them and I have to remind her that it doesn't matter if the end result isn't the one we'd do if it were our project!

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    1. My mum's the same, she always jumps in and then I tell her off and do the same thing! I wonder if it's a standard mother thing? Will have to keep myself occupied while he makes his mater pieces x

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  13. See? Even a cold has a silver lining. Great post.

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  14. Hope you feel better soon... I found this post really interesting. My two love art activities, and definitely definitely spend longer doing them when I don't interfere! :D

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    1. Thanks :) I really need to try and do more messy play with F without interfering, he loves it and I don't want to squash his creative abilities x

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  15. How wonderful! I work for an Early Years Consultant and she is always going on about letting kids direct their own activities like this... they come up with some truly cracking explanations for what they are doing when just left to it, don't they?

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    1. They certainly do! One of my Do's for 2014 is letting him do more self lead play x

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  16. I'm exactly the same, it's difficult to fight the urge to 'help' my son when he's being creative but I know I should.

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    1. I know I think I'm a little to quick to 'help', I must try and step back more x

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  17. It's so lovely when you leave them to it and they enjoy themselves so much - especially when it results in a sense of pride too! Love these photos!

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    1. Thanks, I'm definitely going to let him lead more when it comes to creative play x

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  18. Just what we discovered last week! :)

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  19. And this is why I was never any good at doing craft when my kiddies were little....I really struggled to let go! Well done for allowing his creative side to take over :)

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  20. Oh the underwater letters is so charming and inventive.
    Great low energy activity for Mummy
    xxx

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    1. I loved his explanations, his imagination is amazing. Definitely a winning activity for anyone under the weather x

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