With the week off school for one kid (Kate–kindergarten), it was a great time to have some mother-daughter bonding time at the local “Color Me Mine” paint-your-own-pottery place. Since Kate is a super-artistic kid, I knew she would love this experience.
Looking over the shelves packed with paint-able ceramics, Kate zeroed in on exactly what she wanted: a butterfly bank. Very fitting for my little ball of energy who seems to flutter from activity to activity. Plus, her room is already decorated in butterflies and daisys, so I couldn’t have been more proud when my little one was catering to her momma’s desire for sticking with a theme.
Kate got right into it and quickly selected the colors without hesitation. She knew exactly what she wanted. (Not so me…I would have deliberated my time away just on color selection).
I loved watching her work. She was creative, deliberate, and happy. She focused and took pride in her work. She got mad when I made suggestions. I had to restrain myself. After a few attempts at hints and suggestions (another coat of paint here, or reminders to rinse her brush), I just shut my trap. After all, art is a process. A process of learning and experimenting, and yes–making mistakes.
It is through those mistakes that kids learn to improvise, modify, and problem-solve, all of which are such important life skills.
The last thing I said to my daughter as the project was wrapping up was, “Well, what do you think? Are you happy with the way it looks now, or do you need a few more minutes?” She took a minute to inspect the piece, turning it once or twice, adding a dab of paint here or there, and then she told me she was pleased with her masterpiece.
And that was it–no more rushing or probing or suggestions from mom. Once I relaxed a bit (and shut-up) she took over the entire process, she was truely in the “zone,” a great place for crafty kids to dream on their own.