By Arlee Greenwood, Small Potatoes
The new year has ushered itself in, complete with way too much chocolate, so many toys, and a lot of electronics. The kids were on school holidays for a while, and as much as I love their company, it does get a little chaotic from time to time. Amidst the noise of battery-operated toys, TV programs and video games, this mama gets a little on edge. Any of this sound familiar?
On this day, I turned off all the noise and challenged my two primary school children to a special project. I gave them each a big sheet of white poster board and asked them to write the word "imagine" right in the centre...
I then supplied them with coloured permanent markers, oil pastels, tissues and water colours. I sat with them on the floor and talked about how noisy our home had become.
We talked about things that may be causing the noise and the unrest. We then discussed the kinds of things make noise and trouble in the world outside our home.
I was impressed with some of their answers...speeding cars, cranky teachers, mean kids on the bus ride from school, soldiers fighting, tantrums and people yelling at one another.
I asked them to look at that word they had written in the middle of their paper--IMAGINE--and then I challenged them to create a world of their own on that paper. A world they would like to live in. A new world of their own for the new year of 2014. Anything they could imagine, they could add to their drawing. Their eyes lit up and their minds started racing. Their little fingers could barely keep up. In fact, my son exclaimed he would need more than one sheet for all the ideas he had in his head!
They both started out with the permanent markers...
What a beautiful way to spend the morning. They had brought their imaginations to life. All the noise and chatter of the holiday season had ceased and magic happened. Right on the floor of our little playroom.
When the children were finished their drawings, they copied on paper some of the things I had written as they coloured and painted. We taped the paper to the back of the drawings and hung the finished pictures by their beds. They were so very proud of themselves and are still talking about this very special project today.
I was inspired by these big creative minds, and I'm going to work on my own imagination drawing this week. My kids are excited to see if my imagination still works!
|| Arlee is an Early Childhood Educator, earning her degree at BYU Idaho. She runs a government accredited care center in her home in Red Deer, AB. She studied with the New York Institute of Photography and she owns her own photography studio. Arlee is a mother of 6, an aspiring yogi, a lover of books, bento box lunches, travel, good food and wine. She's a blogger in her "spare time" and she will never say no to chocolate. Find her at Small Potatoes, on Twitter and on Facebook.
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