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A Heart Book with Poetry and The Power of Kids’ Ideas

valentine's art and literacy ideas for kidsThat day I saw first- hand how a seed of an idea can be transformed by the sheer power of enthusiasm and conviction.

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.

valentine's art ideas for kidsencourage your child's ideas

Introducing Poetry…

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.

heart poetry handmade book

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:

Self Portrait with words from magazines

A movie poster based on a storybook

Script writing with photos

Storytelling not reading – the most powerful tool for literacy and learning

3D heart book for kidsHere’s a thoughtful quote about ‘ideas’ that makes me think – I must always be sensitive for and encouraging of my child’s ideas.

 “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?






{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Jennifer D January 27, 2012, 1:14 pm

    I love this. Her book is beautiful. And I love the quote at the end of your post. So important to remember. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rashmie @ Mommy Labs January 27, 2012, 5:19 pm

      Jennifer, thank you for being here. Glad you liked her book :)
      Isn’t that quote so bang-on?!

  • Ann January 27, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Great post! I think this process is an absolute confidence builder! I love that she is learning by trial and error – she will learn at such a deeper level that way. BTW, I wish I had 3 languages!

  • Rashmie @ Mommy Labs January 27, 2012, 5:33 pm

    Ann, my friend – you’re always so thoughtful and encouraging in your words. I always get positive vibes from you….and want you to know that your being here means a lot… :)

    About languages – yeah, it’s fun to be in a culture where you learn more than one language by default. But, it can be so daunting too. Especially for kids in schools where they have so much more to read and write and homework to do – for each language! Gosh. That’s no fun!

    BTW – I know 2 more languages besides the three I mentioned I wrote poetry in. haha! Not boasting but saying it rather matter of factly just to highlight we have two dozen official languages here in india. And several thousand as per the native speakers! Phew!
    Some reading if you’re interested :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers_in_India

  • Manish January 28, 2012, 8:34 am

    This colorful and creative b’day gift from Pari made my day more special :) And it’s really so amazing to know that she actually created it all by herself – also shows how the learning process brought out her creativity in full flair! Your approach to teach Pari is unique and totally worth emulating! Keep it going, girl! :).. and give my special hugs to Pari! :)

    • Rashmie February 1, 2012, 1:11 pm

      Mannu – thank you, my dear, for stopping by here. Pari was so excited to make this for your birthday. And, she was asking “Will Mannu keep this always”. I said – “ofcourse he will. he loved it so much!”


  • Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam January 31, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Such a lovely heart, poetry book.
    Pari is a lucky little girl who has a mom that supports her expressing her true self.

    • Rashmie February 1, 2012, 1:13 pm

      Thank you, Rebekah :) And, I see that post link of yours under your comment that says – ‘Art as Play” – and am wondering how we all are trying to make learning fun for our kids… :)
      Feels nice to be in like-minded company :)

  • Joyce @Dinosaurs And Octopuses February 2, 2012, 11:26 am

    What a beautiful post and project. She did a wonderful job.

  • The Iowa Farmer's Wife February 5, 2012, 4:57 am

    Oh my goodness Rashmie this is SUCH an awesome gift! What a thoughtful girl she is and what a treasure! Love this post!

  • Ashu February 6, 2012, 6:27 am

    Lovely Card Made by Pari,surely an innovative ideas complimented by Poem.

    Will love to read ur urdu poems too.

  • Neera February 8, 2012, 9:09 pm

    Pari is taking after you in the creativity and talent department :) Its always very encouraging and inspiring to see how hard and at the same time how nicely (no pressure, kinds!) you encourage her to work! God bless her :)

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