Today we tried to complete part #2 of the Deep Space Sparkle Winter Trees art project, and thankfully it went much much better than part #1. It might seem a little crazy to even consider continuing on after our last art debacle, but I figured if we can survive shaving cream without anyone getting strangled, Cray-pas should be no problem. Turns out I was right.
To increase our chances of success, we started while the baby was taking one of her rare loooong afternoon naps. VERY helpful. But now before I get too far, let me tell you that we did not in fact complete the winter trees. All those swirly papers are still unadorned. But something much much better happened.
In an effort to be a little more creative, instead of just saying, "Let's make trees", I asked them what the designs reminded them of. Violet said swirls (obvious, but no less true), and Henry said wind or waves. I rolled with the waves thing and showed him how we could make draw fish on construction paper and cut them out to add them to the picture. He loved it and made a fish of his own, but he couldn't bear to glue them on to the paper. They were too fun to play with.
Then he had a light-bulb moment.
"Hey Mom, what we really need is some sticks! Then it could be a puppet!"
What followed took up our entire afternoon and the swirly papers were forgotten. I gotta tell you, making stick/paper/Cray-pas puppets is VERY gratifying. You can get a kick-ass looking puppet made in about five minutes. So you can imagine the volume of characters and whatnot we were able to make in an afternoon. I made a bunch myself too because it was just way too fun not to join in.
After we were done creating, they spent a good long while developing a story and practicing it and just having fun.
After dinner Henry and Violet put on their show for the rest of us and I grabbed the video camera and was able to capture a moment (actually about eleven moments) that pretty much summed up all the children's personalities in a nutshell. There was little plot, but tons of personality, just the way I like it :-)