Picture pages, picture pages... time to get your crayons and your pencils!
That's what we've been doing at our house. The kids love to do "art". What kid doesn't. They drag out the play dough, paper, glue, scissors....everything. I let them do whatever they want. They come up with the loveliest creations. I try to steer them away from coloring books. They seem so un-creative, but they still love them. (I have to say, there is something about coloring in the lines that is very comforting.) Mae's latest idea of fun is to color a big segment of a piece of paper with markers and them put a big blob of glue in the middle. I think she likes to watch the glue change colors--at least I do. They all have been making pictures and "letters" for their cousins, too. I have stacks and stacks of these creations. I've mailed a few out. I haven't found a good use for the others, yet I can't seem to bring myself to throw them away.
Early Childhood "people" say that it is good to let children create whatever they want, not necessarily a specific project. "It's the process not the product." is a concept that is important in children's growth they preach. I see this in all of my children's little (or big) creations. Although, I always love the finished masterpieces, I can see that the truly fun part is the process.
Mae is at this very second cutting up junk mail and gluing it on file folders. She told me that her Daddy won't get mad because she is decorating them for him. I know she is right. Rusty is pretty laid back about such things. He used to bring home big landscaping plans and he let the children use the old ones to play with. They usually ended up being a sword or a telescope. Maybe one day we will unroll a few and let them create a treasure map, or a collage of leaves, or let them figure out something else on their own.
I also love to do "art" with the children. I get lost in making chains of paper dolls and cutting out snowflake patterns. I love the smooth way a crayon glides across a piece of construction paper and how markers bleed into one another. To put glue on the back of my hand just to let it dry and see how it will look when I get "old" is pure joy. I guess I like the process more than the end product, too.
I think we could all benefit from this "art" process a little bit. So, go pull out the art supplies and let yourself go. If you don't have them anymore or never have just doodle on a pad while you make your grocery list or talk on the phone. You'll be amazed at how great you feel afterward.