Don't forget to check out the Valentine's Giveaway: a hand-drawn portrait!
The cupid brought the kids stickers and stamps to make Valentine's cards with earlier this week, so we have been busy making cards for friends and family. We have sat down each morning after breakfast and worked on them, making as many each day as the kids wanted. We'll send each with a picture of the kids and a piece of gum for the cousins and friends. I like how the kids' personalities each come out when we work on art projects. Joe always ends up getting his hands into everything (he stamped his little fingers all over his cards), Dan likes experimenting with layers (stickers on top of stamps, stamps on top of stamps) and has a very loose style, and John is very methodical and thoughtful and likes creating patterns.
When John was young I helped him make little turkeys to give to grandparents, tracing his hands on colorful construction paper, then using them for the feathers on the turkey. When he gave them to the grandparents, one grandparent, with a smile, said, "So did you make this, or did your mom?" I wasn't offended at all (really, I wasn't), but I realized then that, sure enough, I had pretty much done the whole project! The hands were perfectly traced, neatly cut out, and glued together just so... obviously a 2-year old had not had much to do with it. The feathers were the size of his hands, that's it. The turkey was from me, not from John. Since then, when we're making things for people, I have made an effort to give the kids the supplies and instruction they need, then sit back and watch as they make their own creations. It's less work for me and it means more to the kids and to the recipient. It might not be exactly what I envisioned, but the kids love looking at what they made and watching people's reaction when they give it to them. Messier? Yes. But more personality, thought and creativity? Definitely.