At Christmas we had 10 people staying and another 4 that joined us for an afternoon so I knew there would be lots of food needed and especially sweets. I have collected over the years lots of glass bowls to store things in and they are used for conkers (make sure they are dry otherwise they just rot and go mouldy!) pine cones, chestnuts and lots and lots of sweets! I like to have the sweets out and seen so the boys learn that they can be in the same room as chocolate and not have to eat all of it. I think this is a good skill to learn that I sometimes have difficulty with myself!
I admit it though, I did become a bit of a mad thing insisting that all the sweets wrappers were kept. I was a teacher and I used to keep everything that could even be remotely used again so this, to me, was a great opportunity. I’ve had the wrappers in a plastic washing liquid tab box (they are fab for arts and craft storage and also free) ever since and I thought today would be the day to use them.
The boys have been talking about the weather and how awful it’s been. Driving down the lane we’ve watched the river of water that’s come off the fields collect at the bottom and become a ford. Someone dug a trench to the water escape so at least our family ‘bus’ didn’t have to brave it every day. We’ve missed the sun as so many people have. If it makes an appearance we go a little giddy and almost want to run around in the garden in the warmth. We’ve missed the warmth…
The boys were talking about rainbows so I suggested that we got the sweet wrappers out and have a go at making rainbows from them. They boys loved this as any excuse to get out the glue, scissors and card is exciting for them so out the wrappers came. We sorted through them and found the colours that we needed, the boys loved the word ‘Indigo’ and this was repeated with on the gusto that little ones who have found a delicious new word can do. I drew and arc on their page and off they went. Henry wanted his to be a perfect rainbow with bands just like the real thing. Tobes lives life to the beat of his own drum and wanted no help in cutting and no help in knowing where to stick his colours. Tobes is a free spirit and a determined one at that.
Henry needed help with his cutting so I spent 20 mins cutting the wrappers into squares for him. He loved the gluing but did become frustrated when the sweet wrapper stuck to his finger and we had to chat about how to use his other finger to pull the wrapper off. This took a few attempts to get right but eventually he did and was happier. Tobes was still being his free and easy self but seemed very absorbed in what he was doing.
I am getting used to sitting with the boys and letting them do their own art. I did find this difficult when they were younger but now I enjoy watching them try out their own ideas, I listen to them chatting away thinking through what they like to see on the page and actually, if you trust them, they do find their inner artist. They become good critics (though sometimes critiquing their little brothers too harshly) and they know whether what they see on the page was what they had in their heads and are learning how to cope with the frustrations that achieving this can bring. Above all though they are feeling the pleasure of creating something and they love it.
We did lots of things today; we went for a long bike ride in the rain with Henry stopping every so often to look through the binoculars. We drove the car very slowly into the driveway so we could see the Mummy Wren come out of her nest that she’d made in Daddy’s crash helmet and we created something together chatting always as we did. Henry noticed that where I’d hung the art wall makes it the first thing people see when they walk into the cottage and this made him proud. When Hubbie walked in he nipped up to see Henry and the first thing Henry said was ‘have you seen the art wall?’