Some red tissue paper squares (easily cut out in bulk), hearts cut from cardboard pulled out of the recycling bin, some glue, and some kids yielded some spectacular decorations. It’s rather difficult to not come out with a decoration anyone could appreciate.
My three older children each decorated a heart, using slightly different techniques. My eight year old (the middle heart is his) went with the tried and true method of wrapping the square around a pencil, dipping it in glue, and neatly placing the flower like creation on his cardboard heart. My 6 year old (her heart is at the top) did likewise, but with a mashing down procedure at the end. You may notice the the bottom of the heart looks less fluffy. My 3 1/2 year old, whose heart is at the bottom), attempted this technique before trying out several others. It’s a mass of glue and tissue paper. All of them look spectacular, through my not so humble figurative mom glasses.
I love showcasing my children’s work as our holiday decorations. They do, too.
Today’s activity on our Solstice Calendar was to make a wreath for our front door. I had originally planned something a bit more modern, but budget and time constraints, along with the fact that our steel door can get very hot in the sun (my original plan was edible), dictated some changes.
I cut a simple wreath shape out of a cardboard box that was in our recycling bin. You could purchase an actual wreath form at the store, but cardboard is free and reusing items is always good for our planet. Strips of fabric were cut from my stash. This is actually a good project to use up some of a fabric stash that has been sitting around for a while.
The kids debated about what colors to use. Traditional Yule colors of red, green, and gold were suggested, along with cheers for blues, a suggestion of a rainbow wreath, and others. They eventually settled on the colors of the sun – oranges and yellows, which fit in beautifully with our discussion.
Strips of roughly cut fabric are tied onto the form. The only caveat with this wreath is that you probably don’t want any cardboard showing. We opted to just tie on a lot of fabric. However, if I hadn’t had any children older than preschool age, I think I may have first wrapped the cardboard in fabric and then had them tie their pieces on. Scrunching the fabric together to hide the cardboard meant a lot more time spent on the wreath.
When we finished the wreath (I helped tie at the end), we were able to discuss the symbolism involved.
the sun wreath represents our celebration of the return of the sun, and longer days
the circular form represents the rotation of the planet, ofthe ever turning cycle of life and seasons
the multiple fabrics are both different and similar, representing our world is made of different peoples and cultures but that we are still all people
the ends of the fabric are the sun’s rays, radiating out and helping living things. Our actions not only affect ourselves but also affect others. When we do acts of kindness for others, theose people are more likely to have a good day and spread more kindness.
When my daughter was two years old, she drew on the wall with a pencil. It was actually a pretty cool drawing. We took a picture of it before she helped me wash the wall off.
There is something appealing about drawing on the wall, though. It’s a different experience drawing on a vertical surface as opposed to a horizontal one. That’s when I occassionally began taping up big pieces of paper on the wall for a creative outlet. The kids get to draw on the walls without actually drawing on the walls.
A couple of months ago, as I was taping up a big piece of paper, I decided to try something different. I drew frames of all different sizes and styles on the paper. My daughter walked in while I was doing it and sat watching. Then she raced off to get her brothers. The kids ran in, excited to fill in the frames.
They each seemed to like a different type of frame. My three year old began drawing on the medium sized frames, carefully picking cooridanting colors from his drawings to go on the frames. My daughter was drawn to the very small frames, experiemneting with pictures in different colors. However, my oldest surprised me the most. He wasn’t very interested in arts or crafts when he was younger. It has only been in the last two to three years that has has started to do them at all. He picked out each frame, contemplating what would go best. He actually spent the most time, drawing various landscapes and portraits, and of course, naming and signing each one.