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art and learning vince and mel

updated thu 21 dec 00


Brenda Beeley on tue 19 dec 00

When my friend's daughter turned two, she taped a piece of paper to the
side of her fridge..floor level. Put some open bottles of tempra paint,
brushes and water on the floor by the fridge. Her daughter would walk my
and smear the paper at will, spill the water, etc. When the paper was full
she'd replace it with a clean sheet. The mother never commented, directed
or encouraged her daughter.....she just created an environment for her
daughter to explore. She did this for years. When her daughter was seven
years old she started writing and illustrating books. They are fantastic.
She turned out to be an excellent artist and storyteller. I thought this
was a brilliant idea of her mother........I wish I had thought of this when
my kids were young.

This is how I approached creativity with my kids: I refused to allow a TV
in the house. Everyday after school we did projects.......painting,
ceramics, sewing, silk painting, gardening, etc. Starting early in the
Fall we'd work on xmas presents......I don't think my kids ever bought
presents.......they always made them. My kids never complained about being
bored......they always could go off and create something. They hated to
play at their friends houses because those kids only knew how to sit and
watch TV.

When my kids went to college and I sold my 4 bedroom house and moved into a
one bedroom cottage with no garage I told my kids that all their stored art
work from kindergarden on wasn't going with me.......that they could have
it. They went through the boxes and came away with hardly anything.
Obviously they weren't as sentimental as me. But I do have many of their
drawings and ceramics displayed in my house and they definitely feel
appeciated when they come to visit.