We have a blue cabinet in the kitchen that serves primarily as an art supply center for the kids. We stow phone books and old cloth diapers (our version of paper towels around here) in there as well, but it is mostly bursting with crayons, colored pencils, paper of various kinds, glue, glue sticks, homemade play dough (I add lavender and it is sooo nice to work with), markers, feathers, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners (does anyone else remember in the 70's when there were pipes and pipe cleaners were actually used for cleaning pipes?), anti-coloring coloring books, and non drying modeling clay.
The kids have free access to the cabinet and can create whatever they wish. We don't compel them to do anything. Sometimes, we make suggestions as I did the other day when my daughter was at loose ends as my son was busy with my husband working on "The Bug" (a subject for another post...). I thought it would be nice if she got out the modeling clay and she could create what she wanted. Maybe spring time flowers would be nice.
She started by mixing some yellow and some red and working it to soften it up between her hands. My son soon joined her, and while this is mostly her effort, my son was welcome to join her in producing this:
Both kids did some petals. My daughter did the stem . Each kid did a leaf.
It's not Mother's Day yet, but this heartfelt clay/construction paper creation made my day, and I love that my kids do this sort of thing with no prompting for my husband and I, their friends and their relatives. I've noticed that all of their friends do this kind of thing too. They write each other little love notes and make pictures for each other. It's wonderful to feel affection from these kids and to see all of the interesting ways they express it.
This particular flower is one of my favorite spring time flowers ever. I feel the love.