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Monday, February 06, 2012

Kids Crafts: Six Crafts from the Six Year Old

I have an idea, Mama! I can use this flower as a skirt for the fairy and make her with a Popsicle stick... I am going to glue yarn for hair... hmmm what can I do for her tops, Mama? She needs to have pretty tops that matches her flower skirt...

On an average day, there are about half a dozen project ideas Ana throws out into the aether.

I am going to make a collage, Mama, with ocean scene; ocean background is with watercolor plastic thingy, with cool colors, mostly blue and purple, maybe some green; then I am going to sponge-paint warm colors on another paper and cut out fish from it; maybe I'll cut out some sea creatures from white paper and then do salt-sprinkled painting on them...

Of course, some of these ideas just float away into deep outer space. But, some others just pop up and get done right away.

Anyway, I was sorting through my photos wondering which ones to back up and such when I noticed a bunch of Ana's works I had clicked - things that absolutely blew me away, not because of the end result, but because of how it made her feel, having created them on her own, and thereby how it etched itself in my memory.

The projects themselves may not look spectacular in an objective sense, but, to me they are absolutely special as it came from within her - from concept to choosing materials to execution it was all done with joy and focus entirely on her own.

Pom-Pom Chicken

Items Used: Large pom-pom, Pipe Cleaner (Chenille Stem), Popsicle stick ends (for wings), googly-eyes, string, white glue.

After getting the head-and-body done, and the legs done, she tossed around ideas to attach the legs to the body. Gluing didn't work and she got a bit frustrated. Then, she decided to tie it with a string and it held. She said she was going to try sewing it on next time.

The interesting part for me was her choice of material for wings - ends of a Popsicle stick I had discarded from another project.

Paper Weaving Easter Basket

Items Used: Colored construction paper, scissors, tape, paper fasteners, hole punch

Mama, I am frustrated! One evening, I heard her fuming a bit in her room, as she expressed her frustration. I went in to investigate.

She had done some paper-weaving , rolled it around and taped it to make a short cylinder, and was in the process of attaching a bottom to complete a basket. The bottom circular paper she had cut, of course, was proving to be tricky to tape on.

I casually mentioned that when I was little my mom suggested to cut some notches or slits along the edges and fold the edges up a small portion at a time and tape each part on going around slowly. Which turned out helpful apparently, as she shooed me away to finish her basket.

The best part of this project is that she said she made it for me - my very own Easter basket!

Folded Paper Emperor Penguin

Items Used: Paper, markers

On the ride from school one evening, she held something up from the back seat and excitedly squealed, "Mama! Look!" So, I tilted the rear view mirror and peered in. It was this colorful folded paper penguin.

She held up the book Emperor Penguins and her folded paper penguin side by side and beamed proudly, "See! I just thought of it, and I made it, just now!" I cannot forget that moment. Agreed it is not fancy origami, but, the joy and triumph she felt then is quite something.

Pattern Design Drawing Coloring

Items Used: Shapes/Pattern Puzzle pieces, paper, markers

One afternoon, Og was done playing with this Pattern Puzzle when Ana's interest in it was rekindled. This was, after all, her toy when she was little and she was sure she outgrew it and never thought twice about letting Og use it until then.

What I liked was not just that she made up that lovely pattern on her own but that she didn't stop there. She brought out a piece of paper, slid it under the puzzle, traced the outline; then, pulled out one piece at a time to trace the insides. Finally, she colored it in with markers.

For the good part of an afternoon this project was self-motivated, self-initiated, and self-completed, in a matter-of-fact way. No gushing, no fussing at the end, except an awkward, "I goofed up a bit, Mama, if you look closely you'll see. But that's okay. It was fun to do this."

Cookie-Cutter Gingerbread Cookie Man Card

Items Used: Cookie cutter, colored construction paper, decorative edge scissors, crayons, pencil, cardstock paper for the greeting card

"I am going to make a card for Nana, Mama", she declared sometime early last December. And that is precisely what she did.

I liked that she cut out the cookie shape from the white paper, then added a brown paper at the back, rather than cutting the shape on the brown paper, or coloring the white paper in with brown. It is quite tricky to cut out a shape with so many curves.

I also liked that she layered the work, mounting it on green paper, and then gluing it on to the red card front adding dimension, choosing the popular colors of the season, so the final card is not flat.

And, she repeated the cookie man theme and traced one inside the card as well. And, wrote Feliz Navidad, which took me by surprise.

Anyway, the card itself is not stunning per se, but when she showed it to me saying, "Do you want to know how I made it?", I could see her insides bursting to share. So, even though I could very well guess how it was made, I listened attentively and asked her to give me a lesson on it someday.

What did Nana think when she got it? She loved it, of course!

Pine Needles Pine Tree, with Snowman

Items Used: Pine needles, color pencils, paper, tape

This project stuck in my head because it was a Saturday night, a "camp-out" night with Mama. She usually chooses a movie and we watch it together. But, that night she just wanted to do this project. No movie.

As usual, her pockets were bulging with collection from the nature walk around the neighborhood that evening. We pressed some of the flowers and leaves, but she placed the pine needles on the table and insisted she has an idea that she must do now or she'll forget.

She has taken to fancy lettering - experimenting with writing her name in various styles. I remember loving this activity when I was young.

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At 11:57 PM, Blogger Vibha said...

Very creative and Ana has done a wonderful job with each of the craft ideas. Blessings to her :)

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, Vibha! It keeps her busy and gives her some sense of satisfaction... and lets me sit back and watch.


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