Welcome to the May Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival, ‘Kids and Learning.’
The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by [email protected] is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners. This month our bloggers have come up with some wonderful suggestions for fun things to do with your kids, ways to help them learn and thoughts on what learning is. Please read to the end to find links to other blogs, you might find a wonderful new blog to follow.
I am easily excited by all the fabulous fancy art and craft projects there are out there on thousands of fabulous blogs. I am dazzled by the thought of making x or creating y with my kids. So dazzled that I often forget the joy of simply creating. My kids don’t forget though, especially the Small Boy.
For little people (I’m talking mostly under fours here but this is relevant to older kids too) art is about the process of exploring, experimenting and creating for the sake of creating. It is not about a finished product. This idea of ‘process not product’ is important, very important.
What it means is that as an adult, and a parent, we need to give up the idea of a master piece to hang on the fridge, because when you are two, the end product is usually not your top priority.
A little person’s priority is to get in there and paint. To see what the colours look like on the paper, to mix them together until they are a muddy greyish brown. To feel the paint on their hands and see how they can use their fingers to make marks on the paper. To paint up their arms, on their faces and in their hair. To smell the paint and maybe even to taste it. To paint and paint until there is a soggy hole in the middle of the paper. Then to paint and paint and paint some more… and then start all over again.
All that might seem like just ‘making a mess’ to us stagnant, un-fun adults, but it’s not. It’s an amazing learning process happening before our very eyes. It’s learning about colours and cause and effect and practising large and small muscle skills and exploring concepts of mixing and change, and all kinds of other important stuff.
So what do you do when you let go of expecting that master piece and you stop trawling the blogs for fabulous yet product oriented art activities for your little people?
You get back to basics.
You let go of expectations.
You get out good quality, age appropriate, simple, art materials and you create.
You enjoy the process right along side your little person.
Draw until you have used every coloured crayon in the box and the paper is almost entirely coloured.
Paint with your fingers and mix all the colours together, enjoying how it feels as well as how it looks.
Glue and glue and glue some more scraps of paper onto your page, layer upon layer upon layer.
Create patterns and colours and shapes.
Live in the moment.
Create in the moment
There is plenty of time to make that nifty thing another day or try that ace idea next week… for today, just let go and create!
Visit [email protected] if you are interested in participating in next month’s Teach/Learn carnival. Please take the time to visit the other participants and see what they have to say:
- 5 Places to Teach the 5 Senses – Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has some great suggestions for places to go and use all five senses when playing with your kids. (@Y_C_Monkey)
- Don’t look now, but… you’re being watched – Sarah from Untenured Teacher is asking about what we really want kids to learn in the classroom, and how are we unconsciously teaching them?
- Make Your Own Abacus – Staci at Teaching Money to Kids has an amazing activity to make your own abacus, which you can eat when you’ve finished.
- Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival – Kids and Learning – Marita from Stuff With Thing and her daughter have been travelling around the city in different ways and working out how to walk to Queensland. (@leechbabe)
- How to Study Like a Black Belt – The Original SuperParent can tell you how to study like a black belt, with great tips for focusing and getting the most out of your learning. (@superparents_au)
- Learning is a Journey – Deb at [email protected] invites you think of learning in a different way and join your children on their journey. (@ScienceMum)
- Art for little kids – Katepickle at Picklebums encourages us to let go of our adult expectations and just enjoy the creative process with our small children. (@katepickle)
- Learning As We Walk – The Planning Queen walks to school with you and learns all sorts of things on the way. (@PlanningQueen)
- B-I-N-G-O is the name of the game – AmandaB from HomeAge shows her own learning in action – the maths game didn’t quite work, but she’s worked out how to modify it for next time.
- What’s In a Reflection – Miss Carly at Early Childhood Resources has a beautiful story about babies learning all the time, even when they are only a few months old. (@ECresources)
- Developing Brains: Laying the Pathways to Learning – Christie from Childhood 101 talks about the importance of sensory learning for early brain development and has lots of ideas for play that engages the five senses. (@Childhood101)
- The Magical Threshold Of School-Age – Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting wonders why we have a point that we call school age and how children are not ready one day but ready the next. (@mamapoekie)
- Why you should help your child follow their passions – CatWay at Adventures with Kids helps her son learn about dinosaurs. (@adventureskids)
Thanks for joining us! We hope to see you next month.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Can I just say Kate – you make me want to be a better mother!!! I’m also a mother of 3 (no twins!), who were 3 under 3, and I’ve just gotten a firm handle on somehow managing the chaos that follows, and hoping to embark on a journey of #4 shortly. You amaze me with your energy and creativity!
I know that when Princess and my nephew did the sand art kit I bought the other week I found it frustrating that all they wanted to do was mix the sands instead of making a picture with different colours on it. In the end you couldn’t tell what the picture was supposed to be because of the rainbow sand used all over the page, but they had sooooo much fun in mixing that I left them to it.
Nowdays, whatever she is doing, I step back and let Princess do it her way. When she asks me to help I will tell her no (in the case of drawing and painting at least) because I tell her it is hers to do, not mine.
On the weekend the kids were playing with frisbees and everyone wanted to show her how to do it right, including my husband. It frustrated her, and I told him to leave it. Her frisbee moved across the yard, not well but it moved, and she was happy. Happiness is much more important than great technique, for now at least.
Great post. :)
This is all so true!! My boys are 3 and 4 so I can totally relate to everything you have written. Thanks for the reminder to let go and live in the moment :)
Yes, yes and yes! How clever you are :) Oh and you have reminded me that we haven’t had much ‘bluing’ with glue lately!
The Original SuperParent says
My little girl is prolific and loves her art and craft. She also does a lot of personalised pieces for my wife and I. And you know what? I keep ALL of it! Colin
Hi, my name is Deb and I’m a control freak. I know that it’s about process not product, but I still find myself thinking, and even sometimes saying ‘but you’re supposed to glue them on!’ I know I should let go but I find it hard and I need lots of reminders.
I fnd it interesting we’ve never done much finger painting. We’ve used brushes and sponges and pipecleaners and sticks of all sorts, but not fingers so much. I wonder if it’s me suggesting too many things or the big girl not being interested?
Miss Carly says
I absolutely adore creative arts. It is one area that I always love to set up! Thank you for this fantastic post, been bookmarked.
Process not product, willingness to let there be a mess. I know, I know, but sometimes so hard to do. But sometimes, you get the most amazing results!
Beautiful and inspiring post Kate – thanks!
What a wonderful reminder for all of us product-oriented adults :). Thanks for sharing!
Colin Wee says
I’ve just posted a follow up to my original post called a Child’s Perspective on Support Needed for Sport which is a guest post written by 5th Degree Karate instructor Matt Klein about the support needed by children from their parents. Check it out. Cheers, Colin
LOVE your unique and FUN header!!!!!and cute blog name too.
Thanks for the fun ideas!
I hope to link up with you all on Monday.