I love Autumn!! It’s my favourite season. The trees are beautiful, the air is crisp, the hot chocolate is plentiful, there are endless opportunities to wear fluffy jumpers!
Aeryn has loved watching her world literally transform before her eyes every day as the leaves change colour and fall. I really wanted to find a way to get deeper into her love of autumn and introduce a new skill at the same time.
I’m working on striking a balance between completely child-led activities and adult invitations to play. It’s so hard! There are so many awesome things I want to show her and tell her and discover with her and I have to rein myself in sometimes and realise the satisfaction she will get from finding out for herself when her own interest is sparked. She’s still so little, there is so much time.
This time, though, I decided to lead her a little because I wanted to introduce gluesticks to her world! I’ve realised that she’s so ready for self-directed crafts in terms of phyiscal and mental development, but she’s never going to initiate something she doesn’t know about yet! I can’t believe how long it took me to realise you can’t ask to do gluing if you don’t actually know what glue is.
We ran around our garden and the green space outside our house finding leaves for our collage. I constantly narrate our lives, it’s probably a bad habit, so every leaf I end up saying “wow, that’s a small/green/red/spotty/crunchy/huge/oak/chestnut/other leaf you’ve found! Let’s put that one in the bag!”. I’m sure my neighbours think I’m crazy.
Once we had lots to choose from, we headed inside (with only minimal protests, I was surprised! I think she was a bit cold) and tipped them all over the table. I got the card ready and introduced the glue stick, encouraging her to explore it and feel the glue. She was surprised by it!
I was a probably little too hasty to show her what happens when we press a leaf on the glue and turn the paper upside down (it didn’t fall off). In retrospect, I wish I had let her find out herself and been more patient. We had such a lovely time, though, so I’m trying not to be overly self critical and take it as a learning moment.
It really is so hard to let go of teacher mode, especially when she is so young still and the logical steps to go from leaf to gluestick to card to glue on card to leaf on glue on card is quite complex for someone who has no prior experience at all of glue and craft and card and the point of it all at all! She mostly enjoyed rolling the gluestick around like a cylinder block before she realised what glue was actually for!
She had a wonderful time the next day totally destroying her artwork by pulling off all the crunchy leaves and crumbling them, then shaking the paper until the conker fell off! I loved the collage, but she found unmaking it valuable and that’s okay. I took a photo of it and can remember, even if I really did want to keep it for a while!
Art is really about the process, not the product. I’m sure there are plenty more artworks in the future that she can now initiate by asking to glue!