A few months ago, I got Grace a small play table for the kitchen at IKEA. I’ve recently been reading more about these super-moms that let their kids have total freedom with their art tools, with much success. Within reason, I have started this with Grace. She now has a small bucket of crayons and 2-3 pieces of paper at her constant disposal. She seems to have more fun with blank paper, over torn out coloring pages.
Along with this freedom, she has begun loving her gallery even more. She will finish her artwork, then come running to me exclaiming, “gaa-erry, gaa-erry!” When Brian comes home, she is always very happy to show him her new projects as well.
Of course, I have handed freedom over to a 19 month old, so it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. She has colored all over the chairs of her play table (I lined the top of her table), the window sill in the kitchen, the floor in the kitchen, the end table in the living room, a window sill in the living room, and a couple of lines on the top of the lap top. She has had to help me wipe up anything that she has colored on and has had the bucket of crayons completely removed for the rest of the day. She does seem to understand that the coloring on things that aren’t paper is not okay, it just takes some reminding.
We are all trying.
Random Story #2 – Museum of Fine Arts
I took Grace to the Museum of Fine Arts this past week. As I said to several people (Brian, my mom, a couple of friends), every time that I go to the Museum of Fine Arts, I remember why I DON’T go to the Museum of Fine Arts. My problem lies in the layout. Grace and I were in three different elevators before we got to any of the art that we could look at – I didn’t pay for the temporary exhibits this time.
Once we did get to the galleries with works from the Renaissance, the Impressionists, Modernists, and so on, we had more fun. I turned it into a big “I Spy” game – “Grace can you find blue? Can you find orange? What color is that tree? Do you see a circle?” and so on. Once she understood what I was playing at, she was happy to continue the game, mostly, on her own.
Random Story #3 – Shape Cards
As another way to work on shapes and colors, I created 2 1/2 inch square cards with various shapes and colors in Photoshop. So far, we are just using them for identifying. She will tell me what the shapes and/or colors are and then hold as many of them as she can. I also ask her, “Where is purple?” or “Can you find the circle?” After about three questions, she will identify what I asked for and then turn to me and say, “fine it? fine it?” She really does like games like this.