Sunday, August 28, 2011

Paper and Creativity

In our house, I buy an awful lot of tape, note books, plain paper, glue and various writing/ coloring utensils.  And this has absolutely nothing to do with school supply shopping.

Each of my boys has their own paper drawer, as well as another drawer for pens/pencils/crayons/markers/ scissors.  I keep the tape and glue in the living room and they need to ask before they get into it.  They're almost always told, "Yes."

Almost every night, my boys spend between one and three hours creating.  They draw things out, they fold and cut and glue and tape.  And they make all sorts of really awesome things.

Tonight, they started at 5 and kept right on going until bed time.

Lately, they've both been fascinated with Batman.  I'm sure this is greatly influenced by them playing Batman:  Arkham Asylum.

My youngest has been drawing out all the different bat-tools on a miniature scale and cutting them out.  Tonight, he and his brother were making heavy duty baterangs.  They don't come back, but they sure do sail across the room like they're out to take out an imaginary bad guy!

In addition to Batman, my youngest has been building boats.  Just paper and a bit of tape.  The one he made at school, he even filled the sink up to test if it would float.

Tonight, he made this:

It's a pirate ship he made at Mark's parents while we were visiting tonight.
One of the things I love most about these times is that they don't want help and don't need supervision.  It's them, creating whatever they want to.  They'll show me when they're all done.  I like to think of it as a lesson in self-sufficiency, but really, they came up with this all on their own.

It's also a chance for them to practice creating art, in and of itself.   As well as challenging them to solve problems they come across along the way.  A lot of time, this is where they'll come out and ask for some consultation.  I'll make a couple of suggestions and they go work on them some more.  Sometimes, they follow my advice.  Sometimes, they come up with their own amazing solutions.

I also love how these creative adventures turn into part imaginary play/ part science experiment.  Tonight, they were learning about weight and it's influence on paper baterang flying, as well as speed, force and aim.  Not that they're thinking of it in those terms.

To them, the house is littered with gun wielding crazy people, and they have to defend our home.

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