23 February 2010

These are a few of my favourite things...

I love my children (naturally), and I love crafting beautiful things, and doing "art."  I do not, however, really enjoy doing art with my children.  Because, really, my house is enough of a mess as it is.  (True confession:  My mother sent the children craft-foam projects for Valentine's Day.  They loved them, and had a great time putting them together - even though I threw away the glitter, and wouldn't let them use it AT ALL.  Sorry, Mom.)

I try to work it in though, because my kids love it, too.  Which brings me to another thing I love:  The public library.  Tax dollars at work!  And I found out a few weeks ago that my local county library actually has a "Preschoolers 'n' Art" program.  I think it's even a monthly thing!  So I called up my sister-in-law to see if she could take the youngest two monkeys for an hour, and Monkey1 and I had a date.

Now, this was just a week or two ago.  But rather than having a project to do with Valentine's Day (the holiday in closest proximity) they decided to do Mardi Gras.  So we read a very bizarre story called The Green-Tailed Mouse, about a bunch of field mice who decide to throw a Mardi Gras party.  At midnight they all put on their scary masks they've made, but they forget to take them off.  So they spend a long, long time running about, jumping out and scaring one another.  Then finally someone comes along to remind them to take off their masks, and life goes back to being happy, and no one is frightened any more.  Great stuff.  (The librarian said she had to look really hard to find a story about Mardi Gras.  Why they didn't just do Valentine's Day, I don't know).

Anywho, so the craft project was masks.  And a local artist, who happens to be originally from Argentina, was there to help give the children some ideas and guidance in their crafting.  She showed a few slides of some carved wooden masks made by a fellow artist in Argentina.  There was a really cool one that was the lower half of a jaguar's face.  I thought that would be neat!

The last picture she showed was of a red devil-type thing, with three horns coming out the top of its head.  Guess which mask Monkey1 wanted to reproduce.

 

He asked me to cut out "big, purple teeth."  I suggested the google eyes when we got home, hoping it wouldn't look quite so menacing.  I think it helped, a bit.


 
I stuck holes in it with a knitting needle, so he could see, and coated it with a layer of Modge Podge to enhance the durability.  He was extremely pleased with his mask.  And I must say that, despite some misgivings regarding his chosen form of self-expression, he and I had a lot of fun putting it together, and enjoyed spending some time together just being creative.  And, as a bonus, I didn't have to clean up the mess when we were done!
I did have to go buy some craft feathers, though, and they have subsequently been stuck all over numerous objects all over the house.  Monkey2 got to make herself a hat:

 

which was consolation for not having gotten to come with us.
All of which is to say, if you have a young child who likes art, check out the local library.  It's a fun, easy way to do some crafts with your child, and not have to worry about the mess.  That works for me!  

Check out other great ideas at Works For Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristin at We Are THAT Family.

2 comments:

  1. What a fun date that was! Our library hosts things from time to time as well. I try and take my youngest to the "storytime" each week. She loves it and I have found some great books for myself as well! Thanks for sharing.

    I also posted the yarn notecard info on my site...tried to E-Mail you, but couldn't get it to work for some reason. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words.

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  2. I've never even thought about checking the local library for art and craft activities! Thank you so much for the idea!! (and the pics are adorable!)

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