His own devices

I continue in my journey of unlearning what I thought I knew about art and children. Or rather, while my knowledge is useful, it clearly needs to be bent into a different shape before it can be applied with any certainty to my four year old.

Today we built a windmill from a dollar store kit. You push the pieces out and slot them together to form a fabulous little structure. Everything fits together perfectly, nothing bends or wobbles, and the whole thing is remarkably stable, even without a hot glue gun (or concrete, or prayers). In theory, anyhow :)

Having pushed out the little nubbies to make room for the tabs, my boy declared that the garbage should be kept in a plastic box. Having tidied them all up, he had a brilliant idea. Why not make art with the leftovers? After some discussion, he agreed that they would look better on black paper than white. When I found some glitter glue, he discarded the bits of foam and decided to work with that instead.

Did I say glue? No. Glitter glue is not glue. Glue, in fact, is not glue. It is a medium of its own. Somewhere between paint and gel medium. You sculpt with it on the paper. You don’t use it to stick other things on and you certainly don’t use it to add sparkle to the tops of those things.

I draw the line at letting a four-year old mash the ends of my brushes, but other than that, I left him to his own devices. And here’s how his devices sound:

“I like the lumps. I can make lumps with my fingers.”
“I like mountains of it.”
“Mommy, can you make some more lumps?”
“My first big lump! I got it out, mommy!”

Words of the day:


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