Art Jam Roundup

  Well, as I think you can see by the photos art day was a success! We didn't need the carpet cleaner that Sanjay insisted I find, there isn't paint all over our fence and I think everyone had fun. We don't own kiddie easels (or adult ones for that matter) so we moved all the pot plants into a corner and made our small back courtyard into a little arts and crafts area. We tied large pieces of cardboard to the brush-box fence, one for each child and pegged or clipped pieces of paper for them to paint on. Megan and I made finger-paint and Karen brought palettes; Sanjay made a 'table' from a milk crate (with a bag of potting mix for stability) and a piece of chipboard he found in the garbage room which Audrey seemed to enjoy painting. My wonderful mother brought a roll of paper from Reverse Garbage and each kid did two or three paintings.

Asher had a bit of a go at painting but found the texture of the paint on his hands quite difficult, so when the brushes were a bit painty he had to keep washing his hands. Then he was wandering around with wet hands saying 'wash' with a worried look on his face until I worked out that he actually wanted them dried as well. I'll hook up a towel next to the hand washing tub next time we do it.

Now that we have set it up and know how easy it is I'm going to be painting a bit more at home. I think getting Asher more comfortable with different textures would be really good for him, and I'd love a bit more of his art on our walls. A big shout out to Megan, Karen, Clare and Franni for helping out and making the day so much fun.
Posted by Picasa


Inspiration afternoon

I don't really do anything traditionally crafty at home with Asher yet, but he's been pretty interested in paining and glue-ing and such at playgroup recently, so we decided to have an painting afternoon (or 'art jam' as a particularly hip friend calls such events) over here tomorrow. After buying some Tempera powder paint on Friday I have been busily looking for finger-paint recipes today and came across some really good kids crafty resources that I thought I might share. There are lot's of finger-paint and playdough recipes about (I've used the playdough recipe and it works a treat. Dissolve the salt first so you don't get a grainy texture) and there are lots of different lists of ideas out there, but good ones are not always that easy to find. One of my old favourites is the very lovely Kids Craft Weekly which sends ideas direct to my inbox and is geared toward little kids. the photos on the site are great and the ideas are often really simple and good - I recommend anyone who has little kids around subscribes for ideas. There is another site that I came across whose approach I really like. . It's called 'A Magical Childhood' and so far I've only been looking at the craft ideas (there is a link in the navbar that says 'poetry' which terrifies me so much I can't click on it yet) and as the author says, there are heaps of guides for projects that achieve cute results, but little kids would prefer to focus on the process rather than the result and they get bored easily. Her ideas seem to be geared toward what she calls 'laziness' and what I prefer to think of as letting your kid give his or her creativity free reign. She talks about lying in the bath and letting your kid use watercolour paint on pieces of paper you have taped up around the bathtub. It sounds awkward to me personally, but it sounds like fun for fans of the bathtub. You will see what I mean if you look at any of her craft ideas with the word 'lazy' in the title.

The other web resource I rediscovered was the Raising Children website which reminded me that despite my recent frustration with Asher's tantrums and general toddlerness I'm doing ok at managing it. It also reminded me of the reasons these little people have hissy fits and some of the more positive ways of dealing with the difficult behaviour.

I couldn't have found/rediscovered any of this stuff without Sanjay spending a LOT of time with Asher today (and all weekend actually!). I think it's really good for the whole family for them to spend big chunks of time one-on-one - it improves their relationship, Sanj has more of an idea of how I spend my days and I get a bit of mental space. Thanks Sanjay!

I'll try and blog about tomorrow's Art Jam, perhaps I'll even include pictures!


New photos

It used to be so easy to get photos of Asher, but at the moment he usually wants to play with the camera as soon as he sees it. That's why most photos I take of him at the moment are of him doing something - eating, playing with someone etc. Anyhow, it's not that I don't want to capture his extreme cuteness, just that it's a bit difficult to do it without a tantrum.

Speaking of tantrums, the other thing I do for tantrum avoidance is make sure he spends some time each day running around. I find that with a run around in the morning he sleeps better (we get 1.5 - 3 hours of nap time most days. He usually gets put in his cot awake, but sometimes he'll fall asleep in the buggy or the carseat and I'll transfer him. I'm going to DIE when he gives up his daytime sleep) and he is calmer in the afternoon. Usually we accomplish the run-around at the park, although with all the wet weather we've been having lately it's a bit more difficult. This morning we went up to St Thomas Rest Park playground (our usual hangout) and as Asher was climbing the steps on the play equipment he slipped on the wet metal and hit the ground. I didn't see it happen (embarrasingly I was just telling a friend that it was a bit wet for the park and she shouldn't bother coming along) but I saw him land on his side. It was pretty scary - he's fallen from adult chest or shoulder height - but fortunately he didn't hit anything on the way down and doesn't seem to be hurt at all. I was pretty freaked out, and after that and then having to brush a spider off him (it was in a curled leaf, but I HATE spiders) we left the park for the safety of a cafe and a large cup of coffee for me and a banana milkshake for him.
Posted by Picasa


Oh the cuteness!

This morning, as I was washing up Asher put his 'baby' in the highchair and said "Dinner! Rice!" to it a few times. Then he took the dolly out of the highchair and took it's clothes off and said "Nappy" and proceeded to take it in and put it on his change table (and then he slammed his fingers in the drawer and called out 'STUCK! STUCK!' until I came and saved him - he's not THAT smart!).

Actually, there is so much cute stuff happening at the moment that almost every day I try to remind myself to blog the lovely things that come out of that kids mouth. Unfortunately by the time I get computer time I'm so frazzled by the intensity of the day that I'm not able to string a sentance together. Perhaps I should start blogging in dot points?