Free playing

“What do you want to do today?” I asked.

She immediately answered “I want to make a picture with lots and lots of butterflies!  We can stick them on, like a collage!”.

So we rummaged through our craft box, and we did indeed have a whole bunch of coloured cardboard butterflies ready to be glued.

But first, she wanted to draw her own butterfly.

watermarked - drawn butterfly

Not bad for a 4-year old, huh?

Then, we coloured the butterfly together.

watermarked - coloured butterfly

And she cut it out all by herself, silently, with the utmost care (she’s actually better at cutting out stuff than I am).

watermarked - cut butterfly

Next, we needed a background for our butterfly collage.  I  handed her a very large piece of cardboard, and she very quickly drew a scene – a stream surrounded by grass, flowers, a tree (with a nest tucked in to a bough of branches) and a sunny sky.

watermarked - moose large drawing

And then, we stuck butterflies on it.  Her own drawn butterfly was placed first, followed by the other craft ones and some leaves picked from our garden, to create this gorgeous, colourful scene.

watermarked - butterfly collage

I find it hard to conjure up both the energy and imagination needed to continously think up new creative activities for Moose and I to engage in together.  A lot of the time, my brain can’t do much better than “Let’s draw/colour in/paint”, which is fine sometimes, but she quickly gets bored with it.  On this day, I simply let her suggest an idea instead, opening myself up to whatever she might come up with and committing myself to doing the activity together.  This one took us around an hour to complete.  And it was fun!  There was no whinging, no arguing, no tears.  I just gave her imagination free rein, and helped her to make it happen.  It was so satisfying to spend a good amount of happy, creative time with her, on a task of her choosing.  We both enjoyed the whole process of creating together, one step at a time, and I didn’t have to bear the pressure of having to come up with an idea myself!  Win win!

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6 thoughts on “Free playing

    • It’s good to be interested in letters and numbers too! That’s important stuff. I was amazed at how she just lead the whole activity and was realistic about what we could do. Give it a go!

  1. I love the idea of asking your daughter what she wants to do rather than suggesting. I really need to do this more with my 3 year old, she’ll hopefully be more motivated to stick to one activity for longer if its her idea. Thank you for the reminder to encourage free play.

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