I have never been much into doing crafts with Ayaan. Books have always been the cornerstone of our quality time together. But at six, he's now starting to read on his own more and more and though there is a part of me that wants to grab the book out of his hands and insist on reading it to him, I am thrilled that his love for books goes beyond cuddling up to me and being read too.
But he won't read all the time and there are other times where his energies need to be channelised. Otherwise crazy things start to happen - like last weekend, when he managed to get hold of the maid's talcum powder and sprinkle it all over the kitchen floor, sink and freshly washed dishes. Also, I am fed up of having a constant stream of his pals running through the house at all odd hours of the day, so I have designated Tarana's afternoon nap time as a sort of an activity hour for just the two of us. On some days, we just lie next to each other and read our individual books. But on other days, he's way too keyed up after school to settle down to something so low on energy. So on those days, I rack my brain to come up with stuff we can do together.
I have been reading some mommy craft blogs and mostly feeling over-awed by the ability and willingness of these moms to create super-fancy stuff with their kids. My objectives have been somewhat less grand - I want to do stuff that both of us will enjoy and that will be within the range of Ayaan's skills (and mine).
If you promise not to laugh, I'll show you some of things we did over the last couple of weeks.
One of the first activities I designed for him was a scavenger hunt. I didn't want to make it too hard since he is blessed with the frustration tolerance of a wounded tiger but I also didn't want to make it too easy. So this is what I came up with:
His answers were actually quite fascinating and very different from what seemed obvious to me. For things that can stretch, he came up with arms because we stretch them when we wake up. And despite having a clock and a measuring tape lying within his line of sigh, he took a long time to find something with numbers of it and finally settled on Tarana's counting book lying upstairs in their room. It was surprisingly fun and we managed to get through it without him losing his cool.
Then I came across these adorable, and eminently doable flower girls. We broke this up into two separate activities. On day one, we went around our complex, scavenging for all the fallen leaves and flowers and twigs we could find. On the second day, we used them to put together these artworks. Mine is a girl in a garden with the sun shining in the sky (at this point, I'd like to remind you of your promise not to laugh):
Ayaan's is supposed to be a setting (orange) sun and a tree with a ladybird sitting on one of the branches:
The one below was Ayaan's idea. He found this rock when we were out scavenging and he wanted to paint it with all the colours in his paintbox, even mixing some to make new colours. The result: my new paperweight.
So that is what we have been up to. We are now in the process of making a papier mache stick puppet. I was hoping to make something pretty like a butterfly but the son had plans of his own and we have made a mushroom that is waiting to be painted. Expect to see it if it is even vaguely presentable :)