Make: independent creativity

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Independent Creativity

Before the 5yo started school, Friday was always our big project day. We would choose a theme and we would create. We made paper bag puppets and rocket ships; paper plate animals and lollipop stick fish. We did lots of messy play; with gloop and paint and moon sand. We had fun!

Now that he is in school full time we don’t have our Fridays anymore and I miss our creative time.

We still do lots of drawing and painting and crafts, but I miss the one-on-one time we had.

The other day he asked if he could do a craft. He wanted to try something that he had been doing in school. A Thanksgiving, turkey, craft. I was in the middle of homework monitoring, wee girl corralling and dinner preparation.

I said no. I said I couldn’t help him, that I was too busy.

My wonderful, grown up boy said, it’s okay mummy, I can do it myself.

And, he did.

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t even watch him. I just left him to it. I glanced over every so often and he was happily drawing. He asked for scissors and I gave him a pair. That was the sum total of my involvement.

He drew a handprint turkey, cut it out, coloured it in, stuck it on to a background and drew more detail.

And then he gave it to me for a present.

I know that I can’t stop every time the kids decide they want to do something. It’s not always going to be appropriate or practical to do a craft, or paint, or play a game. Sometimes there are other priorities. They need to learn patience. They need to learn to play, and create, independently.

I won’t always be able to drop everything and get involved.

There is however a small part of me that wishes I had stopped, because it won’t be long before he doesn’t want my help anymore, before this independence is the norm. Then I really will miss our creative time.

But there is a bigger part of me that is glad that he did the activity by himself. That I didn’t help; that I left him to it. I was so proud of his independent creativity; it shows me how much he is growing up.

And, I love my picture.

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25 thoughts on “Make: independent creativity”

  1. It is awesome! It’s hard to say no, but sometimes you just can’t do everything with them. But your son did a great job of making his own craft :)

    1. Thanks Caroline! He draws pictures all the time for me, but if I’m around he likes me to help/join in. It was lovely to see him just get on with it :)

  2. It is lovely. I do know exactly what you mean however. Mind you, the other day my 8 year old and I spent an hour colouring in together-that was a lot of fun. So I guess it’s all about adapting, from both perspectives :) x

    1. I think you’re right. He draws all the time, but he does like to do stuff with me, so it’s nice to see him accept that I couldn’t help this time and go off and do what he had planned by himself.

  3. Hello there, what a fab picture-very impressive! Our little one does a lot of drawing but he’s a bit younger so not quite so independent, I’m sure it won’t feel like long before he is though! x #ssamazingachievements

    1. Absolutely, the 5yo is forever drawing, but he likes to do things with me, and he wouldn’t generally go off and find himself glue and scissor etc!

  4. Wow that certainly is a brilliant picture he made for you, bless him!! It’s such a mixed blessing isn’t it, them becoming more independent and not needing us so much x

  5. A great post and you have made a really good point about children learning patience. Sometimes as parents we don’t have the time and there is nothing wrong with children learning to do things by themselves. I really have enjoyed your post.

  6. Pingback: Make: independent creativity | Love All Blogs

  7. Bless such a great job. It is hard trying to balance it all isn’t it. I often feel bad that I haven’t done something constructive with the boys at the weekend – but yes they need to learn independence too.

  8. Oh I so understand where you are coming from. Time passes so quickly, you don’t want to miss out on them needing you but you need to help them grow their independence….. such a hard balancing act.
    Fabulous picture from your son, fridge door worthy!

    1. It is very hard to balance, because I know it will make me sad when he stops asking me for help, but it’s important for him to learn not to need me x

  9. It’s that old friend ‘mother guilt’ creeping in again isn’t it? Sometimes, I think our children benefit hugely from being left to their own devices to do things. It creates independence and confidence, especially when they see that they actually can do it on their own and very well too! Gorgeous picture. Well done little man!

    1. I know, it’s always there somewhere isn’t it! I absolutely agree that they benefit from doing things themselves though, and he often does, it’s just when he asks for help and I have to say no that the guilt seeps in!

  10. What a lovely picture he made for you. It is sad that sometimes being a mum makes us very busy but you’re right they do need to learn to play on their own. Its a double edged sword in a way. A very proud mummy moment.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

  11. Lucas says – Now that(!) is one AWESOME Turkey!!!
    The Mothers say – It’s hard when they suddenly become independent isn’t it? I bet he still needs his Mummy cuddles though……………
    Thanks for linking to #minicreations

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