Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sep8_Elmer4_SM

When I was thinking of the project to do for mosaic with paper, I knew right away what it will be – Elmer, the patchwork elephant. Anna is a big fan of Elmer stories, and I thought it will be fun for her to make a stick puppet of Elmer. I found a pattern for him here.

Well, I was wrong. Anna was not enthusiastic at all. I felt that I was almost forcing her to get the project to the state Sep8_Elmer_SMwhere we could consider it completed. A few lessons I learned here:

Don’t make your child do a project just because it says so on your plan for the week. Anna had a late nap and looked very much out of it when we started. I did suggest that maybe we will do it another time, but she said grumpily that she wants to do it, so we persevered.

 

 

Sep8_Elmer2_SM

  • Do not get overambitious. I had about 8 long lines for her to cut, and a big elephant to cover with patchwork. I helped her cut, but I think that in her sour mood she immediately deemed the project too hard for her. At some point she looked at me and said with reproach (I kid you not), You know, mama, I am just a little girl! If I did the project the same, I’d choose a much smaller pattern (or downsized it) and would precut some of the paper.

 

Sep8_Elmer3_SM

  • Don’t push it. Anna was done rather quickly. I talked her into making an ear for an elephant and gluing two parts to make a craft stick puppet, but all this seemed very forced. Both of us were rushing to get this project out of the way. Not at all how open-ended art should be (and was for us last week). I think it has something to do with my desire to do something “useful” while she most likely didn’t want to do anything in the first place.
Sep8_AnnaElmer_SM

Finally, her puppet was done, and I suggested that she can add it to her theater. That’s when she transformed into her happy self – engrossed in her own world, excited, talking non-stop, inventing situations. At some point she decided that her lion puppet needs a lifesaver. She ran back to the table, snipped, glued a piece of paper together, and here it was. That was a true burst of her own creativity – genuine, unguided, unforced. I hope to see more of it as her pretend play develops. In fact, I am trying to sort of limit her play props (play food, etc.), so she could exercise this kind of creativity more.

15 comments:

Susana said...

I love everything you did and she created with this from start to her play with it at the end!

This is wonderful!

The girl who painted trees said...

Great idea to make a puppet out of this! Cute project.

Michelle said...

What a great idea. I want to get Emily into puppets. She loves retelling stories so they would make it even more fun. I also want to check out the Elmer books!

whisperingwhispers said...

I love the idea, I will have to keep this in mind. One thing I have learned with arts and crafts, I seldom pre-plan, Selena and I just sort of go with the flow in the mornings as to what her mood is. The only one I pre-plan is the end of the Unit and then even with that Selena just takes over, so I am just basically planning the back drop theme from there it is all her. At least she is like Selena and loved it in the end!!

Ticia said...

Great job with the project, and it is hard to know when to press on and when to give up.

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Ha, that little girl is really something else!! I love the story of this... and I really love the idea of making Elmer. It just seems to fit the idea of a mosaic. But, children have their own ideas sometimes. She is very articulate in reminding you of that! You did great Anna! I'd love to see your other puppets sometime!

Valerie said...

Fun!! My daughter loves to glue, so this would be right up her ally! :-)

Zonnah said...

Well it sounds like you both are learning with this adventure! Good job :)

Christy said...

The elephant looks great. I have to look for those books because R loves elephants. Last week we didn't even do the pebble mosaics because my children were not interested at all. We have had a busy week so I hope to do the paper mosaic tomorrow. I love this post because things don't always go as planned with children.

Teaching My Little BookWorm said...

we love ELMER! we even have the stuffed elmer! great job!!! :)

Felicia said...

That is so funny!!! I totally understand your toddler moments! lol What a great project!:)

Kylie said...

She still a great job!

Cole and Christy said...

Love the puppet idea!

MaryAnne said...

Great post. I love that you write about what goes well and what doesn't quite work. I'm glad she was happy in the end, and I like your idea of limiting play props to allow space for creativity.

Our Little Family said...

Awesome post and I related with so much of it (well, my experiences with Maddie and art on occasion).

I love how it turned out and the thought behind it, too!