How come no one talks about how much more fun kids get as they get older and older?? What I mostly hear is “enjoy them while they’re little”! And don’t get me wrong, I totally have. I’ve burned special baby and toddler moments into my head that I never want to forget. And every time I look at old pics, part of me wishes they were tiny again.
But man….watching them grow and learn and develop their own talents and passions??
It’s so cool!
They have these giant, exciting lives ahead of them!
And so much to learn and discover.
And they say the funniest, cutest things.
And we have conversations about history, and how the universe works, and how people create cartoons, and why blue cheese is blue.
Just this morning while getting ready for school Owen told me he needs to keep practicing his drawings because he’s going to be an animator for a big film one day. “So I think I’ll start with Frosty the snowman….I’ll keep drawing him and get him just right.”
Isn’t parenting great?!
These are the payoffs for the rough patches we all go through. These are the moments you could never get anywhere else in life.
So I thought I’d start documenting some of the things my kids make and do, mostly for myself so I can always remember them. Because they just make me smile. Maybe they’ll make you smile too.
Lucy (9 years old, 3rd grade) loves art, just like Owen. She’s really loves reading, and she spends hours making her own books, researching topics online, and illustrating her pages. This month she’s been bringing home “bobble head books” (as she calls them) from school, which are a cute series of biographies on different historical figures. She’s read about Abigail Adams, Maurice Sendak, Harriet Tubman, Michelle Obama, and Frida Kahlo.
Last week her teacher gave them the cutest assignment based on the books called Biographies in a Can. Each student was assigned a different book from the series and had to create that person’s face on an oatmeal or coffee can, write a report, and then include 3 items inside the can that represent that person.
Lucy, of course, was thrilled to get Frida Khalo the famous Mexican artist. So we pulled out some supplies and got started on her Frida head.
First she had to brainstorm ideas and take notes from the book.
Then she drew a sketch of what she wanted the face to look like…..and seriously, could an oatmeal can have been more perfect for the project?? It was the perfect color of her skin and hair!
I helped her with the hair, and—as I’m learning with most school projects—it’s an experience for me as well, trying to balance how much input I should I give to help pull ideas out of her, and how hands-off I should be so she discovers on her own. I try to ask her what ideas she has and see what direction she wants it to go. Then I throw out a few suggestions or ideas and she plays off of that.
And when it comes to a hot glue gun….I tend to take charge. So she helped me wind the yarn into very long bunches and I glued the pieces on the top of the oatmeal can (sorry no photos of the process—we worked on this late one night). We basically made long straight strands hanging off each side of the can. Then Lucy pulled the hairs to each side, made two braids, and I glued them around to the front of her head just like Frida always wore. And of course Lucy wanted bright pink flowers and some leaves right in the middle.
Then she drew the face on the front, colored in the lips.
I love her face! And the eyebrows of course.
I gave her the idea about the ears….saying it was kind of like carving a pumpkin and she thought that was perfect.
Then she picked out a bright floral fabric from my stash, and we tied it around her neck.
She was done!
Friday Kahlo, in a can.
For the three items inside the can, Lucy drew a Mexican flag since Frida was very proud of her home country and often missed living there. We printed a photo of Frida and one of her self portraits, which she is most well-known for.
And we threw in some more flowers. Cause who can resist bright gorgeous hot pink?
We placed everything in the can and the next day each child presented their person to the class.
It was a blast to see the other cans and creations.
School is so great!
I think back on all the fantastic teachers who inspired and motivated me over the years. And I’m thankful my kids have wonderful teachers inspiring them as well.
Good job Lucy girl.
Maybe one day some one we’ll make you in a can.