Now that my kids are in preschool, every term there's something that they will have to do at home according to the theme for the school term. In other words, it also means, there's homework for me to do. My 5yo's theme for this school term is "Fantastic Flowers" and the teacher sent an email to inform the parents to do a 3D flower craft with the child and bring it to school for show-and-tell.
Craft again? I thought. It's certainly not easy being a parent these days!
3D?? Now how am I supposed to do a 3D craft? Paper mache? Sure sounds complicated!
I googled "3D flower crafts" for some ideas, and found some photos of flower crafts made of folded colored papers to make them 3-dimensional. Then I realise I don't have to create a paper mache to make a 3D craft! The task seems much simpler now. Hooray! So I decided that we could just use some paper plates and wooden chopsticks to make our flower craft!
Before I got down to doing the craft with my son, another mummy also asked me how do I intend to make the craft 3D, so I shared with her my idea. She said the paper plate seems like a good idea, and she originally thought she had to like make clay or plasticine to form petals and put them together to form a 3D flower. I said that sounds difficult. I told her I would think it's better to do a simple craft that our child can manage on this own rather than having us to do most of the work if the process is too complicated.
Back at home, I took out the paper plates, wooden chopsticks, scissors, colour pencils and crayons. I suggested to my son how we could do the craft and he excitedly started work. I had my ideals on how the flower should look like, and how the paper plate should be cut to make the petals. But my son wanted to do it his way. I actually thought it wasn't as pretty as my idea. Then I realise my son was doing exactly what I had hoped he would do -- to be able to complete the craft on his own! Yet there I was trying to get him to do the craft my way.
So I became more encouraging, and gave him the freedom and space to express his creativity and how he wanted his flowers to look like. He also asked me to make my own flowers so we did the crafts together, but expressing our own individuality and creativity.
My 5yo designed the flowers and named them. He also cut out smaller shapes as leaves and even roots at the bottom of the chopstick.
His creations- Sunflower (2nd from the left), Rose (3rd from the left) and Hibiscus (big blue flower at the bottom)
Seeing him focusing on his craft and putting in his best effort made me really proud of him. To think he even designed different types of flowers! That's way more creative than mummy!
I've learnt from this episode that as much as I wanted to advice or help him, I could very well be a stumbling block to his creativity and imagination. Sometimes we just need to give our children their own space and freedom to explore and create, and we will certainly be surprised by their works!
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