Nicole at Tired, Need Sleep opened up a new linky that is kind of a sister to Open-Ended Art. The difference is that in this case the art is truly open-ended. The kids are given variety of tools and materials in the box and left to their own devices to explore and create at will.
I admit that I tried this in the past with very little results. Maybe it’s boy-girl difference, but my daughter definitely prefers the projects where she can see the completed project beforehand. For example, she enjoys doing things from $1 craft kits that I sometimes get at Target or Michaels. Still, I decided that it would be fun to try an art box again. Here is the picture of what was in her art box. As you can see, I was hoping for some sort of fall-related project. Instead I got this horse. I was reusing some of the printouts that I’ve done long time ago hoping to do Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See activity. I wanted Anna to use the other side for drawing, but instead she made a feeble attempt to color the horse, and then announced that it’s colorful enough and she is done. However, the thought that I pretty much predicted came to her – cookies! Every time when she has scissors, scrap paper and stickers she makes cookies. She likes foam stickers a lot more than she likes flat stickers, because she can make “cookie layers” with them. She spent good 30+ minutes making cookies, “baking them”, cooling them down and feeding them to her dinosaur puppets.
Overall we both enjoyed this activity, but I am not going to keep the Art Box available to Anna at all times. I tried it before, and it didn’t work here. She always reacts better to something that appears new and special. She has constant access to her magnetic board, some scratch paper and crayons, but she doesn’t use them all that often. We are going to make Art Box an activity for the day of the week when our papa goes to visit his friend in the evening, so she can create something to surprise him when he is back. I hope that as her fine motor skills mature, her desire to create her own art increases too.