The 6-year old in my house showed me this.
The two of us sat at the art table with the thought of making something for my brother. It was his birthday the next day – on the 25th.
Pari absolutely adores my brother. No wonder then that she wanted to make something heart-shaped and red and pink even though it was meant for his birthday and not Valentine’s!
We started off cutting ivory papers in the size of greeting cards. I folded one of the papers and cut out a half heart in a way that when I unfold the paper, a full heart will reveal.
Now, this gave Pari a vision. She declared that she has a fabulous idea that was better than any other idea we’ve discussed so far.
I was curious. I asked her to explain it and she went on step-by-step. I asked her a few questions to help her gain clarity about how she would make it. All the while I was marveling internally at the brilliant idea she had struck upon. I also told her that it was a vey unique idea.
But, I didn’t go overboard praising her for the weight of it might overwhelm her to ‘perform’.
My mom was there, too and kept pitching her own tips but Pari would not listen. She seemed to have visualized exactly what and how she wanted to go about it.
I knew she has come up with the most original idea. All she needed was to work on it. If she’s able to pull it off without my help, it would give her a surge of confidence in her ability as an innovator.
I supplied her the colourful cellophane sheets that she asked for. Made her a heart template that she could use to cut out more hearts for her idea.
And after that, I got busy with my own creation for bro’s birthday. (will share it next week!)
I kept encouraging her in between – genuinely pleased with the way she was working on it. More than anything else, it was heart warming to see her working on HER OWN idea rather than anything even remotely influenced by me.
Here are some pictures of her work process and the result.
That night, as she slept snuggled beside me in the dark, I asked her if she would want to write some poetry on the heart pages. We discussed a few lines and rhymes and the overall message.
She’s delved in this form of writing before. And, from time to time, I encourage her to pen random poetry.
Now on, as I see her interested, we’re going to delve deeper into this form of writing.
As a teenager, I had journal dedicated to poetry in English, Hindi and Urdu. Urdu – ah, I LOVE this language for its sheer magnificence. Every word of it is smeared in poetry.
And, this is what she came up with (with some help from me in placement of words) to write on the book:
The sky is blue,
My love is for you.
The rose is pink,
About you I think.
The next after-noon, she wrote these down on the book. First she wrote on the colourful hearts but it kept wiping off due to the cellophane papers. Finally, she wrote on the area outside.
On integrating art, writing and learning, here are some previous posts that you might find helpful:
Storytelling not reading – the most powerful tool for literacy and learning
“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.” - Ovid
Are you encouraging your child to pursue his/her own ideas?