I come up short in a lot of areas, and this includes the absence of a riveting pinboard full of melted crayon projects. But I do follow the creative impulses of my kids when I can. We muddle through sharing crayons and scissors, and if there aren’t any tears by the end then it is a success.
This morning my son got really excited to see Sesame Street characters on his potty seat. My daughter asked where Sesame Street was to which I replied, “In our hearts and our imagination!” I found some Sesame Street songs on the computer, and I pulled out the art supplies so we could draw our own maps to guide us to Sesame Street. Usually I step back from our art projects so the kids can follow their own ideas, but today I joined in so I could introduce the word “map” and explain how people use maps.
I know my children love the simplicity of Dora the Explorer maps, so I drew in stops at the Kissing Turtles, Cedar Grove, Flower Lake, Kitty Cat Corner, and the Night of 1,000 Eyes. My daughter did an underwater scene and then suggested that we use the maps along with their Elmo and Abby Cadabby dolls to find Sesame Street. I thought we would be doing this all indoors, but they want to take it outside. My daughter suggested that we use my map – and I explained that there are a lot of ways to get to the same place. I hope she will understand the deeper meaning of this.
I challenge you to trust your child’s creativity today. Stop and stare at that patch of flowers that has distracted her from where you want her to go to. Ask him what he sees and figure out a way that he can interpret his world on paper, in a song, or in a wad of playdough. Our kids’ artistic selves are not cluttered by to-do lists or piles of laundry. They will show us how to loosen up and have fun if we give them the space to do so.
* After a year-plus of blogging with Anna, I have discovered that we neglected to add the category of “Play”. Consider a lot more play to be hitting the blog in the near future to make up for this!