This post is dedicated to Janet Lansbury who inspired me to discover and enjoy self directed play.
image from loversandfriendsmemypadandmypen.blogspot.com
This weekend I had a revelation. I´ll cut the long story short and will briefly share what happened using an instructable writing style and lots of photos (which value more than thousand words) to meet Steady Mom´s 30 Minute Blog Challenge standards.
Instructions for a “Do not disturb toddler” revelation
You´ll need a relax Sunday, a pretend-to-be creative mom with crafts ideas, water colors, pencils, paper, a camera and a normal toddler.
Note: Mom tends to think he is unique, creative, intelligent, tender and fun, which makes him an outstanding toddler. She ignores -prefers to forget- being outstanding is the most normal thing for a toddler.
materials ready to start painting a creative mom´s craft idea
toddler chooses big brushes, these are too big to paint with our watercolors I think, but he´s playing peek-a-boo... I´ll take a photo, he´s so cute...
when he realizes he needs to choose a thiner brush I think he´s finally going to start painting on the paper but he goes round the table and decides that painting the Jar is much more fun
then he goes off to the next self directed play idea: building brush towers needs lots of concentration and balance...
I believe this boy really loves me and finally, wanting to please me, he turns his attention towards the white paper I placed on the table for him to paint. This lasts a few moments, then he declares "it´s raining, it´s pouring" and happily sings along transforming his body and soul into a great drummer.
In the very, very end of the game, he feels ready to paint using two brushes in one hand.
Game is over and off he goes while I insist in taking a picture of "my creative idea" for encouraging my toddler´s creativity... Mhmmm!
Here is my little boy, smiling so happy when he is asked to explain how he did his art work. He simply says: "I did it" but I know he is saying: I played peek-a-boo, I painted the Jar, I made a tower, I became a drummer, it poured on my art work and I finally painted it!
Having exceeded 1 minute in my 30 available and been this mom an honest woman, I only have one more thing to say: I was able to discover the self directed play of my boy was much better than “my creative idea” because I was taking the photos instead of saying “No darling, you don´t want to paint that jar, you cannot build brushes towers, this is not a drum, it´s not raining, see the sun?”…
I wonder how many times I might have interrupted my children in their own creative flow when wanting to “help them” to be creative.
Liked my story? I´d love to read yours!