I have really struggled to enjoy art with Bear and Fox. It is something I like the idea of but haven't worked out how to do. There are so many ideas that I've seen and would love to try but haven't got around to. I have collected a lot of materials that we could use but haven't.
There are lots of things that keep holding me back. I'm intimidated by the potential for mess. I haven't set aside a designated art space. I don't have much experience doing art activities with children. I choose to fill our time with activities.
Maybe I'm just not an art person. Maybe we're just not an art family.
I think that it is good to CREATE. Creating is purposeful and meaningful. It is productive. It can be generous. Creating is a much more powerful experience than CONSUMING.
On the one hand I am content with the identity of "not an art person" because there are infinite ways that a person can create apart from "art". We can draw, sew, write, build, design, engineer, garden, blog, photograph, bake... I think individually we will each have creative outlets that are comfortable, enjoyable, therapeutic and enriching.
On the other hand I would like to persevere with art (here I am thinking the paper, paints, pencils etc kind of art). Art can be a way to experiment and explore. A time to appreciate what is beautiful and pleasing (and perhaps notice what isn't so beautiful). It is a chance to interact with new equipment. To use tools, hands, fingers in different ways. To become confident and skilful.
I've made another attempt to enjoy art at our home. I have found an easel outside where mess is welcome. I've organised our art supplies in a way that is easy to get out and pack away and I've set aside a time once a fortnight to try out new art ideas.
Maybe with some practice we might become art people....
An Art Area
I've rearranged Bear's furniture in the playroom to include a more inspiring art area. I put out different art supplies each week for him to explore freely. This week connector pens and a white board - both have been very popular.
Just a side note about his table and chairs: this beautiful set was handmade on request by a man in Molong (a little town about an hour on the Sydney side of Dubbo). You can track him down through the Molong Yarn Market along with all sorts of other handmade treasures. They were given to Bear for his 1st birthday by his grandparents. The chairs are still a little high for him but they are very heavy so almost impossible for him to tip over when climbing on and off. We love them!
An art area would be incomplete without somewhere special to display his creations.
A Desk Lamp
A recent source of frustration for me was Bear constantly asking me to turn the lights on and off. He can't reach the switches but they fascinate him. That gave me an idea! I moved the desk lamp to his table where he can get to it whenever he likes. The switch is easy for him to operate. He can turn it on and off to his heart's content without plunging the room into darkness and driving the rest of us crazy.
A Tissue Box and Rubbish Bin
To remedy Bear's frequently runny nose I put a tissue box where Bear can reach it. He helps himself to tissues and attempts to wipe his own nose. He also enthusiastically looks out for other rubbish he can put in his bin.
He went through the first box of tissues very quickly. New tissue. Wipe nose. Scrunch. Toss. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It took a lot of restraint and positive self talk ("They're only tissues", "They cost 75c a box", "They're compostable", "It's good practice for him") to stop me snatching the box from him and putting it out of his reach. Thankfully his enthusiasm has since settled down. Now he gets a tissue for himself when needs one and just a few other times per day for fun!
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.