This past winter, we held a series of classes just for kids, ages 6-12. We did Valentine mailboxes and St. Patrick’s Lucky Kettles and weaving with ribbon through the ribs of a basket, A Tisket A Tasket, a pretty Spring basket.
My mother was a kindergarten teacher and a lower Elementary art teacher, so I thought I could try this.
And I knew that with the dreary weather we had in Michigan this winter, every Mother and child could certainly use a break from the normal routine.
Going into this, I made sure to keep my Mother’s motto fresh in my mind. A messy area meant it had been a good day because we as children had explored something new and were given the freedom to try, without trying to stay within the lines or not make a mess. Obviously, my Mother had a high degree of tolerance for mess and thankfully, I have that same tolerance level.
Because, when you use glitter glue, there is going to be mess. It doesn’t dry instantly and extra gets on your hands and you wipe your hands on whatever.
So if there is one thing a parent or teacher needs to do is to put themselves in that child’s shoes and see what they see. So what if there were too many stickers and they overlapped? Or maybe too much ribbon?
I can tell you it was exhausting work- maybe because every child wanted to show what they did and wanted “Miss Lisa” to see it for itself.
So what I learned or relearned was to celebrate the individual effort and encourage the daring to explore the next “frontier”. Because without the chance to fail or edit your work yourself, how are you going to grow?
Being with children- even for a few hours and witnessing the joy of their accomplishments helped me to enjoy my accomplishments and spark some fresh creativity in me.