I am not a naturally creative person. Doing crafting, baking, and the general making stuff activities with the kids for me takes a lot of effort. But they love it, so I do make the effort despite my OCD tendencies to take over what ever it is they are doing .. I find myself
getting overly involved wanting to ‘help a little’ (ok.. a lot!) if they are not doing it quite right, or exactly how I think it should be done. I would probably be better off tying my hands behind my back during these type of activities to stop myself interfering and let them just get on with it.
I’ve really been noticing this week that whilst I am not particularly creative, actually my children are. One of the activities on their Summer Bored Board click here see prev blog post to read more about the Bored Board– (SERIOUSLY – introducing the Bored Board these holidays is one of the best things I’ve ever done!) is to ‘write a story’ – Jess has been loving this. She talks through the concept of the story first, writes a title and introduction before beginning her narrative. Pictures always accompany the story and she never forgets to credit herself on the cover as the Story Author and Illustrator! She finds so much to spark her imagination, creating delightful characters going on different adventures.
Its been really inspiring to watch how she puts her stories together, the pride she takes in her pictures and how much she wants to read her stories to pretty much anyone that will listen (thank goodness for the patience of grandma!)
i know its important to encourage creativity where you can, but I’ll be honest I find it hard work – I’m all for the self entertainment sort of stuff (writing their own stories, drawing pictures etc), the larger projects – painting, model making, baking – any really messy stuff I’m not so keen on. Setting it all up, covering everything that is in danger of being glued, painted on or covered in gunk for what seems a very short amount of playtime before I find myself deserted as they’ve gone off to do something else and I’m up to my elbows is mess!
But this week, I decided to grasp the nettle so to speak. One of their ‘Bucket List’ activities was to do some tie dying of t-shirts. A definite outside activity, and with Monday being a dry, occasionally sunny day it was the perfect opportunity. A quick google on instructions – came across parents.com (click here), a dash to Wilkinsons for the dye, salt and cheap washing up bowls, Dug out their P.E t-shirts from the last term of school and off we went.
It was such a pleasure to watch them coming up with their designs, deciding on colours and how they wanted them to look. They showed patience in waiting for the dye to work and were so excited when it was time to take them out and see how their designs had turned out. They even offered a critique on the patterns, and decided what they would do differently with the next t-shirt.
They enjoyed it so much I ended up opening up the new t-shirts for the next term of school and letting them dye those as well. Safe to say, we have enough tie dyed t-shirts to get them through the whole of the summer!
The aftermath and clean up wasn’t too bad either, and seeing their creativity, personal style, originality and imagination really come through was well worth it.
After such a successful and relatively stress free activity, later in the week we really decided to push the boat out on the messy play front – and went the whole hog with ‘Paint Wars’ . This amounted pretty much to covering the front garden in lining paper, squirting a load of paint all over it, and letting the kids (ok.. and me too) slip, slide, run through, roll in and get throughly covered in paint. Of course, it descended in to not only squirting the paper with paint, but then each other!
A quick clear away of the paper, and it was out with the garden hose. There was no way anyone was entering the house until at least the majority had been washed away.
The water hose brought a whole other dimension to our play time, being chased round the garden by my 8yr old squeeling (the squeeling was me, not her!) jumping through the spray and their total awe when they made rainbows appear through the mist was pretty magical.
It was such a sense of freedom, play without limits, so much laughter, the biggest smiles ever, cheekiest of giggles, screams of excitement.
Truly what sunny, summer days should be made of.
Linking up with #theordinarymoments