Our art time usually takes a nose dive in the summer months, there is too much green to be played with and too many hills to climb. We don’t often make time to just sit still, and we always want to enjoy the sun when it comes out. Every once in awhile, though, there is a lazy week where I just need to sit and enjoy the presence of my children.
This year has been a strange blend of hustle-bustle emotions and stagnant bodies, and arts and crafts seem to speak a calm that their bodies understand. We enjoy creating together and the conversations that flow as we do.
If you have read some of my previous posts from this summer, you have probably heard me bemoaning our log situation. I shouldn’t complain too much, it will be great to sell these logs and we are fortunate to have them. I just get a little frustrated at the stream of ongoing projects. It feels good to complete things and I can get amped up about jobs with no end in sight.
I can look at the logs and see only a string of work, but the other day I happened to catch the rings in the tops. The growth marks on the trees, capturing the endurance of hard winters and flourishing of beautiful summers. They are growing a little stronger, a little wiser, and a little taller each year and the patterns it creates are splendid.
The kids were ready for a new porch activity, because they are growing taller, and wiser, and stronger too. They are growing past some of the babyish toys and are ready for more involved projects and imaginative games. We traced the rings of the tree in black to create a stove, a place to cook with mud, plants, and rocks. My four year old heaped on piles of orange paint that I helped fan out into flames. The tree stumps are a perfect home for mud pies and rock creations.
We took a walk around the neighborhood with a wagon in tow, searching for the perfect rocks to showcase our work.
Once home, it became time to scrub and clean and sing the Covid theme song with joy in our hearts.
“Wash your hands, wash your face, I seem to live in the washing place.”
Any other Wee Sing kids out there or are my Home school roots showing again?
After the rocks had been cleaned and dried, it was time for the painting. The fun. The mess. The extravagance. After the initial painting session that ended in me scrubbing (thankfully, washable) paint off my front porch, I wised up.
Is this why we bought a kiddie pool? No. Is it a helpful alternative to the children dousing themselves and all our furniture with the paint intended for rocks? Yes, yes it is. Well maybe it didn’t help with them covering their own bodies but then, it was back to the washing place.
The rocks were painted and left to dry. This project was ongoing all week long, some painting was done in layers and I had decoy rocks for the younger child.
At the end of the week, we had a little outdoor play kitchen and made many fun messes and memories. Not a bad way to spend a summer. Not a bad way to capture the little snippets of their childhood as they grow much faster than my heart can fathom.