Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Her Other Space

Her desire to create is insatiable. Pens and paper are always in arms reach. Deep in the midst of imaginative play she pauses; I can almost see her synapses firing. And in an instant she is all snipping scissors, swirling colours and concentration tongue poking. She is creating.

We are eager to hand over such tools and let our kiddies plunge head first into this making world. Open slather we say and leave the paper shards that carpet our floor til the after bed time tidy up. This mess explodes like a confetti party popper but with a flick of a broom it is tamed. Paint on the other hand...

But heartened by words of famous educational theorist, Lev Vgotsky " What a child can do in cooperation today, he can do alone tomorrow." I began cultivating  another space for my girl. A painting space she could delve into independently.

A few pots of colour, a paint palette for mixing, some brushes and an old jam jar for water. A basket of paper and tiny pegs, a plaited rope hooked on wonky nails. Then the gentle yet constant reminders of what painters do, how they care for their tools, how they clean up their studio after they have finished. The modelling of each step of the process, the praise for success; repeated many times.

She now puts on her art smock, retrieves her own water and returns it to the sink when she's done, hangs her paintings up to dry, and wipes the table clean with a damp cloth. Bless. Blobs of paint still make there way underfoot, wispy hair dangles in stained water and many a page is snatched by the wind. But how far we've come.

Armed with knowledge, support and the appropriate tools, I really believe our babies will rise to almost any challenge.

Steph x


Fiona said...

That is just absolutely gorgeous.. reminds me so much of my little girl for whom I've also created a little space dedicated to creating.. be it a toilet roll or the spongy thing you find around nashi pears, she is always saying 'let's make something out of this' and I love that that is what occupies their minds.. not TV.. how absolutely beautiful you have made your daughters childhood :)

Rachael said...

So good to encourage a sense of independence and ownership. We have to encourage Ben to take part in 'crafty things' but this is a great idea.Rx

purplepear said...

Such a wonderous thing you are doing!

Kylie said...

Beautiful post and a wonderful set up. Our little table broke when we moved and am yet to replace it. The opshops around the area have not provided me with a replacement and I really think that maybe an ikea trip is on the agenda.

It looks like she is enjoying her little areas.

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