When I quit my job as an Assistant Toddler Teacher in a day care classroom to have my son, I imagined taking the structure and lesson planning home with me. I envisioned weekly themes with daily art activities to give my son an enriching, creative, educational experience home with me. And then I had an infant, and then a toddler, and I realized that most of my energy would be spent on getting through the day. The little time I have to myself during the day (i.e. naptime), I want to spend on myself rather than on thinking up educational activities. For a while, I felt mom-guilt about this, but at this point I realize that it is ok. Morgan is hitting all his developmental milestones, can count to 10 reliably, knows the ABC’s, his colors and shapes (including cylinders and arches), and can do basic +1 addition. I think that is pretty good for a kid who just turned two in June. And all of this happened without conscious curricular planning on my part.
That being said, I am a crafty person, and I would like to encourage Morgan to explore his creative side. I am a little embarrassed that I still have the paper Easter baskets we made in March hanging in my window, because I haven’t done organized crafting beyond crayons or sidewalk chalk since. So to celebrate the changing seasons, I decided to do a fall leaf craft.
- Construction paper
- Elmer’s glue
- paint brushes
- little cups (we save the cups from apple sauce or fruit cups)
- legal size paper
While Morgan napped, I cut tree silhouettes out of black construction paper and glued them to white legal size paper. I also cut simple leaf shapes out of red, orange, and yellow construction paper. When he woke up and was ready to do some art, I put some glue in a small cup, watered it down a bit, and gave him a paint brush.
He had so much fun, he ended up making five more when he finished the first. The best part? After I ran out of pre-cut trees and leaves, he wanted to pick the colors. So now I have a colorful forest on my wall– with blue trees, green trees, and orange trees with red, yellow, green, orange, pink, blue, and black leaves. When I nurture him, I do have a budding little artist on my hands!