Today was an arty kind of day!
We tried painting. Aeryn had a good go mixing and inspecting the colours. I decided to give her the chance to paint some binoculars we made ages ago and never got around to finishing.
The binoculars were my short lived attempt to introduce craft. I know that art really needs to come from Aeryn and be for Aeryn to be meaningful. I know that as a trained educator and a mum. But the temptation to help her make things and do crafts with a set end point is really powerful. I blame Pinterest and friends with kids who do constant crafts at nursery and daycare and at home. Kid crafts are adorable and fun for adults to make too and look cute on your fridge and..and..and.
Not doing crafts is almost like saying you don’t like childhood, it’s so pervasive. My parents still bring out the festive decorations I made at school every single Christmas.
But Aeryn really wasn’t into it. She just didn’t get the point, didn’t understand the importance of getting the tubes to stick together, didn’t know why we had to wait for it to dry, didn’t like the sensation of the glue and water and paper. It was just a disaster really. I ended up finishing them for her so she’d have something to paint.
But then she didn’t really want to paint them. She did a bit but preferred to just mix the colours and then asked for paper. She had no vested interest in her binoculars at all. Because they weren’t hers. They were mine. My idea, my execution, my craft. She had no reason to want to paint it.
Our art now is open ended. We use different media, colour, light, settings, angles, stimuli..but ultimately, it’s all free reign for Aeryn to create. We focus on the process, not the product. She sometimes revisits pieces days later, and sometimes destroys them. But she’s completely engaged, engrossed and enjoying herself, which is what’s important.