Thursday, July 19, 2012

Creative, fun ideas for Parents, Teachers and Childcare Professionals

I just found this site and have already found ideas to use the next time Avery comes to visit.  (In about 2 hours as a matter of fact) Creative, fun ideas for Parents, Teachers and Childcare Professionals

I love watching Avery's mind at work - the expressions on her face, the way she focuses when she is drawing or coloring, the excitement she feels when she has created something all by herself - and then celebrating another moment of growth.

As a young Mom, I always wanted to spend time doing crafts with my sons.  Sometimes they were interested in the end result of what they made, most of the time they were more interested in the PROCESS - of getting messy.  The messier the better because the end result of that was a bath. (Or in some cases, praying them down with a hose outside) Boys are very different from girls. I wouldn't do crafts very often with them because I hated the clean up and didn't have quite as much patience as I do now.

As a Gramma (Gaga) I have a lot more patience and right now because of unemployment my sabbatical, I have a lot more time. And while Avery does enjoy a good bubble bath, when she gets messy it is "eeeeuuuuuu!!!! yukky!!!!!, messy!!!!!, dirty!!!!, ocky!!!!" so it is a very different experience and one that does not result in a LOT of extra clean up time.  Just a little.

I have also learned that preparation and organization is key.  Children do not have the patience for waiting while grownups get the supplies together.  Now I have a box dedicated to age appropriate craft supplies.  She is still too little to cut things by herself, but the time is coming for us to introduce safety scissors.  That is on my list for the next shopping trip but for now, Gaga does the cutting.  To alleviate a fight over discussion about who handles the big girl scissors, I have prepped ahead of time wherever possible, by cutting everything out ahead of time so that all she has to do is choose which picture/shape she wants to use in her masterpiece.

Yes, with Avery I am basically the facilitator and she is the artist.  Sometimes she wants me to "help" so we will color a picture or draw shape people together.  Most of the time however, she is exercising her independence and I will hear, "Avery do it!"

I have also learned over the years that perfection is not as important as the process of letting them learn to create and accomplish something on their own. There is plenty of time and opportunity for gentle correction and teaching along the way. The fact that they did it themselves is the end goal here and cause for celebration every time. 

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