March has been a super hectic and chaotic month. We are moving places and houses; which means looking for a new school for Pari; new house; de-cluttering the current home at a faster pace than we have ever done before and a dozen other things to take care of before the actual day of shifting arrives.
When art is play and play is art…
In the middle of this transition phase, Pari’s creative activities have to still go on. Hence, I am always thinking of innovative activities that she can do independently, with me providing her the right amount of enthusiasm, material and tips. Well, otherwise too – in normal scenarios – I am a big supporter of child-led learning where projects and methods are chosen as per the child's interest rather than being forced upon them. I believe that we showing them precisely how to do and what to do does more harm than help. It stifles their imagination and free play.
Art, for them should be play rather than an enforced activity. And, art can be that string that holds learnings from different fields (maths, history, science) together providing a cohesive experience rather than scattered and stand-alone learning.
Cutting and pasting is one activity that keeps Pari busy for hours. Drawing with coloured chalks on slate board is another. And sticking tapes to make different patterns is one more.
Talking about paper cutting – scissors and glue are the two most favourite art tools with Pari. I think there’s something about scissors that fascinate many children. I think it’s the control this tool gives them to alter and make something new that resonates with them.
Crowning yourself with your own hand-made flowers!
One of these days, she made a paper flower crown for herself. All I gave her was a seed of an idea and the raw material. She drew the flowers, painted them with water colours; cut them out and pasted onto the strip/band. I helped her cut the band by measuring around her head.
Towards the end, she embellished the crown with those puffy 3D stickers that she had resisted using for long. I told her to use them until she found the most suitable project. Of course, this was the best project to make use of those cherished stickers.
"I am my favourite person!"
After wearing the crown, she declares – “I am my favourite!”As some of you may recollect – this ‘dialogue’ is from the Hindi movie – “Jab We Met”in which Kareena Kapoor says – “Main apni favourite hoon” (“My favorite person is my own self”).
On a reflective note – loving yourself is the key to loving others. Isn't it? As someone has said –
If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself.
Allowing our children to learn through methods that keep them motivated and creatively involved is the best possible way to show our love for them.
As parents and educators, its essential that we spark their enthusiasm and offer them a creative environment for their interests to bloom into passions.