Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sophia: or the artistic explorations of a three year old

Anjali is now of the age to to proper crafts, in the sense that she tends to do things that have a clear end goal.Sophia is so awesome with catching up with everything that Anjali does (listen to her holding her own on discussions on Harry potter and the Goblet of Fire and you'll know what I mean), thatmany times we ignore that she, at three and a half years, needs to explore and create things without any idea of what its going to end up like.

I remember a conversation that I had with Jennifer from the Playeum, she said that parents these days want their kids to come out of art lessons with things that don't look like something they have made themselves. I like to think that I am not one of those parents, but then, things like these sneak up on me and I sometimes find myself facilitating activities where the space of exploration will inevitably result in something that looks nice to display. While it is nice, for the purpose of hanging on the wall, to have something that is not totally out of control, we have to appreciate that children Sophia especialy appreciates free exploration, and when she goes in for free exploration when Anjali and I are exploring a craft, I often let her do it, facilitating as best as I can. Here are some of her explorations over the last weekend.

Cutting and gluing wrapping paper on her own legs
Making a star curtain. This was kind of interesting: I had set up a masking tape paint resist explporation activity, but Sophia lost interest after a bit. Instead, she folded and cut out a paper, astonished when it became a star, drew lines around it, found a piece of masking tape and taped it to the wall, showing it off very proudly, and calling it a star curtain.
Later, when Anjali and I were making paper airplanes, she found, in the rough paper box, some old gruffalo mask printouts that I had made for Sophia's birthday party which were left over. She cut it out and colored it
and evidently it is more fun to color on a vertical than a horizontal surface.
Here is something that was partly facilitated: Making a sock puppet on daddy's hands
And a birthday cake (this was an invitation to play for Sophia, with pipecleaners, cotton and a colander)
Something more facilitated: paper mache bowl
I realized that the more facilitated and end product oriented the activity is, the less inclined Sophia is, to work on it independently. On the other hand, when it is just materials, she is more likely to do it for a longer period of time. I guess I have to train myself too.


  1. Great insight with that last sentence!

  2. My daughter loves to create on her own. She would work on it all day if I let her. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!


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