It’s finally happening… My little boy who used to happily jump at any art project I suggested has his own agenda now. And while I lament that he’s not quite so pliable or amenable to activities I’ve anticipated, I also am celebrating this three-year-old independent spirit and the imagination that accompanies it.
Cue this project as the perfect example. I thought sorting and making art with pasta might nicely fill some time on a Sunday morning since I had several boxes of dry pasta in the pantry. Sorting is a great skill for little fingers and minds, but silly me, every pasta I had was a variation on penne…in different lengths! It turned out we had regular penne, medium-sized pennette, and super-short ditalini.
This turned the sorting into a neat challenge based more on length than shape, so Travis actually sat happily to help me sort for a while.
My suggestion to paint the pasta after was met with indifference though! A bit miffed, I pulled out glitter paint. That made things decidedly more sparkly and fun, and we discovered that painting penne is quite silly and tricky since they roll.
What worked best? Dabbing at them on a piece of wax paper and leaving them to dry? Tossing them into a whole bath of paint and swirling them around?
Travis decided it was more fun to paint the bowls holding the paint, but eventually we had lots of sparkly painted pasta, and left it to dry.
The final idea was to turn all that painted pasta into a mosaic, but Travis was completely uninterested…until I suggested that the glue was caulking, and the pasta was “ants” coming through the floor (a game based on a recent, real-life scenario….).
Well then he couldn’t get enough! We caulked and caulked, and filled puddles of glue with “ants” trying to get into our kitchen.
When I asked if he thought our paper was full enough, he pointed to the remaining pasta pieces and adamently told me, “No Mom, still more ants.”
Once we’d used up all the pasta, he needed to “caulk” two more pieces of construction paper before he tired of the game.
So there you have it, a valuable lesson on my son’s ever-growing independence, but also a reminder that incorporating his latest interests and imaginative play might still just get him to sit and make art with his mama.