Now I have a daughter, and things are different. I did well personally and professionally, but I would love to see her more creative than myself. My husband complements me in this - he is very creative. He can sew, does simple carpentry, loves Lego blocks and created his own board games in the past. He always draws birthday cards and calendars. But he is also very mess-averse. He always takes care to organize his working space just so and immediately cleans up. Doing any arts project with our toddler stresses him out. Luckily, Anna goes to preschool for 2 days a week, and her preschool teaches ABC through art. They have a lot of projects similar to those featured on my current favorite crafts blog - Our Crafts and Things. I am thinking of making more art projects with her at home, but a few things keep interfering with my best intentions:
- Time limitations - a lot of crafts require some preliminary assembly, work time and then clean-up time. Considering that we usually have about 2 hours together of time together between my arrival home and time for dinner/bedtime routine, I sort of prefer to spend this time in free play outside or doing activities that we both enjoy more - reading together or unstructured play of her choosing. Sadly, Anna rarely if ever chooses to do arts if she is not prompted to do so.
- Energy level - again, after getting up before 6 am and spending full day in the office, I am pretty tired in the evening. Since for me art is work, I often simply lack motivation to guide Anna in this direction
- Anna's natural interests. Unfortunately, she appears to be my daughter, after all. She likes art projects when she gets into them, but she doesn't spontaneously reach for them most of the time, even though she has free access to her play-doh box and to her cutting/sticker box. If she plays by herself (which is rare), she prefers puzzles, cars, or pretend cooking. Sometimes I question whether I should really "push" her into art, considering that I didn't develop any interest in it despite enough exposure.
- Overwhelming number of choices. When I come to arts and crafts section of Target or any other store, I am blown away by options. What is the difference between tempura paint and finger paints? What is the glitter clue for? How to choose construction paper? That's why I am really looking forward to entries that will give some ideas for the best art supplies for young children. I'll be reading!