One of the things I really couldn’t stand about the day-care that Morgan and Joah used to attend was how the children’s art and play was so monitored… so interfered with… that they never had the opportunity just to “be”… just to explore… just to CREATE.
Either they were given pages from a colouring-in book (to “colour in neatly”) – which, I’m sorry, is NOT art… (and don’t even get me started on how much I hate colouring-in books for kids!)… OR… they would work on “crafts” – which involved a teacher telling them EXACTLY what (and what not) to do.
For example – the instructions to create an Easter Chicken:
- Cut out 2 circles – one large and one small (the teacher would usually do this for the kids).
- Neatly paint both circles yellow.
- Cut out a small triangle.
- Neatly paint the triangle orange.
- Stick the triangle on the edge of the small circle (as a beak).
- Draw a round, black dot next to the triangle (as the eye).
- Stick the head on top of the body.
- Voila! A chicken!
Maybe it’s because I’m a Creative Creature myself – but I’m strongly and firmly in the camp that encourages and allows kids to explore and problem-solve and create… without setting endless limitations and “rules” about how their art “should” look… or how it “shouldn’t” look…
With that in mind… here’s some photos of what Morgan and Joah have created on their own (including their own games and play-things). I make sure that there’s loads of resources… and then I leave them to build or make whatever they want. If they ask for help, I’m there to lend a hand (but only if they ask).
Other than that – I don’t interfere. I allow them to build or create whatever they dream up… the only expectation I have is that they clean up their own paints and mess afterwards (which they usually do).
Okay – here goes… 🙂
Morgan’s Nest! A while back, I was cleaning out my paper clutter and putting a whole lot of stuff through the shredder. Morgan decided to build herself a giant nest with the shredded paper. She spent most of the morning, pretending to be a little bird (I even gave her some gum-worms to eat).
Morgan built this tent-house in our lounge (no help from me).
The inside of Morgan’s tent… she had created little aquariums and bug-hotels… plus a bed with fairy lights for herself and her brother. I allowed them both to sleep in the tent that night and they LOVED it…
This was when we were in the Karoo for 6 weeks… Morgan and Joah decided to collect rocks and pebbles from the nearby stream… and to paint them too.
Morgan loves to bake. I set her free in the kitchen and allow her to experiment (but I’m on hand to help her use the stove or the oven if she needs to). This is Morgan proudly showing off a little cake that she baked and decorated… all by herself. I love how proud she is of her handiwork.
Joah decided that he wanted to be the Incredible Hulk – so coloured himself with green koki… (he also washed it off himself… but only after enjoying a full day being green)…
Morgan decided to create special hats for herself and her friends. She made 5 of these… cut them out, painted them, glued or stapled them together… all on her own. Again – look how proud she is of her handiwork.
Joah made both of these creatures… on his own. He found some bits and pieces in our recycling bin and decided to make his own creatures.
This is Zahra – Morgan and Joah’s friend from next door with the “salad” that the 3 of them made (they invented a game around this salad which kept them busy for hours)…
The kids built the walking robots (with our help)… but Morgan came up with the idea of creating a back-drop for Robot-Land herself.
Morgan wanted to experiment with “Paint Make-Up”… (water-based paints, of course… easy to wash off).
The kids LOVE their lego. They spend hours building all kinds of wonderful creatures and machines.
Joah decided to make a “Junk-Bunny” (on the back it has a little pom-pom tail)…
Morgan proudly displaying the bunny she created (also out of junk).
What happens if you take a garden, an old box and a hosepipe… and add 3 kids? You get a fun game that lasts for hours! Can you spot the third kid?
Junk-Robots… (Joah built the one at bottom-right… he wanted it to look like Wall-E).
So… there you have it… just SOME of the stuff that kids create and invent when left entirely to their own devices.
I think it’s wonderful! 🙂