Independent Creativity

I've been nursing a nasty tooth infection that led to a root canal and a few days of some pretty strong painkillers. I'm off all the crazy stuff now, but still a bit sore so I have been sleeping in a bit and not the most "present" of parents.

Ping-ping the penguin here to cheer me up. Love his flipper feet!

Claire presented me with this "get-well" gift two days ago and I'm just so tickled by her creativity. See the clothespins and the bits of torn green streamer paper? The shiny foil carefully folded just-so in the corner? Aren't kids just amazingly creative when you provide materials without direction?

I'm always impressed when materials are used in new ways. Take Anastassia Elias, sure I've seen lots of crafts with toilet paper rolls. We've done our fair share here -- snowflake ornaments, owls and birdfeeders. I so admire Anastassia's ingenuity -- who thinks to create tiny little worlds inside a tube of toilet paper?!

We need more creativity. And not just in art. Creative thinkers are problem solvers -- inventive and ingenious.  I can't help but think that if we encourage expression in the arts at a young age - a space and forum where children can mold, shape and showcase their ideas - that it will bleed over into other fields as they age and choose their life's path.


Milestone Moment: Child's First Library Card

No craft or witty project today, just a proud kid showing off her very first library card! At 5 years old, our local public library lets the kids have there own card to check out materials and Claire couldn't be happier.

To help manage the LARGE amount of books, movies, video games and magazines I bring home myself, I've decided to limit Claire's checkouts to five items. This should keep me from having to pay too much for the "fines of shame" when books are inevitably late.

The librarians made a big deal of the card, coming over to offer handshakes and congratulations as well as a packet of new bookmarks and stickers. How sweet!


Bing! Bang! Boom! Homemade Instruments and Noisemakers

I know I'm one lucky lady -- I can work around the house or in the garden by myself for a while and Claire happily entertains herself building contraptions and musical instruments. I'm very, VERY thankful for such an independent kid.

One morning, I was weeding my neglected garden and heard some serious banging coming from the family room. I peeked around the corner to find Claire happy as can be, banging away on a homemade drum set.

She had taken apart her stool for the top cymbal and dumped a series of blocks and legos out of the metal bins for some nice crisp sounding drums. Her mallets are made of tinker toys. What an inventive little girl.

A few weeks after her birthday she dressed herself (rather festively) and serenaded me during breakfast looking like this. Unfortunately, you can't tell in this picture, but she's wearing another purple dress underneath the sweater. How I wish I captured a video of her humming through the birthday hat while strumming along on the other!

I wanted to share a few homemade instruments from around the web, we've made a variety of these ourselves and I can say that there is not much that satisfies a kid more than making some good, loud noise. Invite the neighbors over and have a marching band or perform an impromptu concert in your pajamas one morning. Just make sure the video camera is ready!



If you're looking to slip a little musical magic under the tree this year, I HIGHLY recommend Melissa and Doug's band in a box set. There's a little bit of everything inside: harmonica, castanets, kazoo, jingle stick and xylophone...what more could you ask for? Keep an eye out for CyberMonday sales, The set retails around $15 bucks and will likely be on sale even cheaper soon! Happy Music-Making!

I've got a few more musical ideas shared over at Pinterest.
Come check out the board called Noisemakers & Homemade Instruments!