While pregnant with my first child, I knew I wanted to be a work-at-home mom so that I could be present for every little laugh and hugs we both needed. Another big reason was so that I could teach her about the world around her and help nourish her fondness of learning. Through fun and play, I looked for any and all opportunities to teach her something new, whether using a new word, or explaining an entirely new concept. This was easy at first because she soaked it up like a sponge. Gradually, she began to ask relevant questions, you know the incessant "why" and "how" that got me to thinking how I could make learning continuously fun.
When I worked in the home office, so did she, feverishly creating and reinterpreting new ideas she just saw or learned. She'd dig in the recycle bin and put together collages about herself or make a story board using pieces of twigs, leaves, and berries from our nature walk that morning, and so on.
The overflow of supplies hidden everywhere throughout the house was my biggest cue. So I packed up my home office and relocated to my bedroom closet, and transitioned this space into an art room, where she and her brother could creatively express themselves, and the entire family could sit around a table and together, share about what we have learned throughout the day, discover new things about each other (what we like about this or that) and grow as artists (from finger painting to canvases and acrylics). This process is, to me, what the art of "family" is all about.
Art is not just about work we mount on a wall or save for the scrapbook either. It's also how we start the day and dress up. The kids pick out their own clothes, and that's our first topic of conversation. Is the weather right for what we are wearing? What would we need to change if we got wet in the rain? And speaking of outdoors, art is in the discoveries we make from the ground up to the sky: the clouds turn into animals in the sky, and mud pies and cookies bake in the sun. Speaking of baking, art is also in the kitchen, where the kids help shape meatballs, crack eggs, dye their cake batter with food coloring, and watch watch happens to food when its left in the freezer, or simmering above a stove.
The masterpieces the children make is fun for them to see finished (or eat, like after making rainbow cupcakes). But what we love most about art is the journey. That is what compelled me to start The Art of Family blog, a place where I could photo journal and share the creative process of raising our children and how we learn from each other... dreaming and connecting our imaginations.
For preschoolers (and for more than a few of us nostalgic adults), there are not many childhood toys that rival a brand new box of Crayolas, organized by color, sharpened to a perfect tip and labeled with an exciting name. While pristine for an... read more
Preschoolers love to create art. They like idea, the process, the mess and the final product. If you have a little Picasso at home who just can't get enough of drawing, painting and creating, take his art to a new level by introducing him to an ar... read more