• Serendipitous and Easy Art

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    My son’s preschool class has started doing Letter of the Week. Each week they talk about a letter, and they’re encouraged to bring something that starts with that letter to circle time (where they sit together at the beginning of each day.)

    On the car ride home, we were talking about things that started with A. Unfortunately, neither Transformer or Robot begins with A. After he identified that “apple” starts with A, I suggested that we could make an apple robot. He became so excited that we were going to make a robot that transformed into an apple. I quashed that pretty quickly, noting that my vision had been to take a real apple, put some arms, legs, and eyes on it, and pretend it was a robot. That removed his enthusiasm pretty quickly.

    His next suggestion was for us to go out and buy a robot, that transformed into the letter A, that one of the boys in his class had today. Nope.

    When we got home, I was looking around, trying to brainstorm when I got caught up in making his dinner and let go of the question.

    As he was eating, I was looking around, and I saw a discarded practice sheet from an earlier project.

    Scrap doodle paper

    Scrap doodle paper

    This sheet had been a test sheet where I used masking tape to mark off shapes on tracing paper then color with markers. There was way too much bleed-through around the edges, so I discarded the idea. However, an A idea did strike me, so I grabbed the scissors, glue, backing paper, and started cutting and gluing.

    Cut, glue, and paste Arrow

    Cut, glue, and paste Arrow

    Once I had it assembled, I asked my son what he saw. After he identified the arrow, I asked him letter he thought “arrow” started with, luckily for me, he guessed right away. Also, he liked the looks of it, so I asked him if he wanted to take it to school tomorrow for circle. He was totally on board. He was so on board that he asked for a second arrow on the page and wanted to help. (Note: this can be a helpful tip for crafting with kids, sometimes just crafting in front of them will get the interested and wanting to explore.)

    This is where I really had to practice what I preach about letting go of control and not needing things to be perfect. I had a simple vision, I implemented it, and it looked cute. Now he wanted to help, and the ideal materials were used up. I took a deep breath, told him to grab his scissors, and handed him the remaining scrap paper.

    My "helper"

    My “helper”

    ┬áMost of the shapes he cut out weren’t useful, but we took turns cutting out shapes from the paper, and I was able to make a second arrow out of the remaining scraps. (This time, I even remembered to take a picture of the cut outs before I glued them down.

    2nd arrow scraps before gluing

    2nd arrow scraps before gluing

    After a little glue stick, 2 arrows

    Finished project

    Finished project

    I (now) really appreciate how he got me to expand my original vision AND he’s looking forward to taking it to circle tomorrow because he helped make it. Yay!

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