April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. (Sonnet XCVIII)”
― William Shakespeare
Nature is often the backdrop and the inspiration for what we do at ART IN HAND. The emergence of spring always fills me with feelings of exuberant awe and wonder coupled with a calm reassurance that the joy her warmth and beauty brings each year can always be relied upon.
Young children respond similarly to the cues of spring, and these projects celebrating the signs of birth, rejuvenation, and the delicate beauty of nature’s creations are among my favorites.
Our students, ages 1.5 – 4, had fun collecting soft things to build cozy nests (and squeezing and pouring their own glue in the process). Then they experimented with feathers as tools for painting on various surfaces, creating delicate brush strokes quite different from those created with a standard paintbrush.
For more artful inspiration from nature and ideas for more springtime art explorations with your kids, I invite you to read my article originally published in Washington Parent Magazine in April 2008.
When Nemo got lost, he cried to Dory– “I promised I’d never let anything happen to him!” And Dory’s genius self said – “Well that’s silly. You can’t let nothing happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.”
I give you this to ponder in the wake of the latest round of scary news…via my favorite blogger/author, Glennon Melton of Momastery.com and the book Carry On Warrior: Thoughts On Live Unarmed (which I highly recommend).
How To Keep Our Babies Safe
I cannot find the words to do justice to these images, so I give you simply that, the images to savor.
“…Let me tell you what we think about children. They’re hardwired for struggle when they get here. And when you hold those perfect little babies in your hand, our job is not to say, ‘Look at her, she’s perfect. My job is just to keep her perfect — make sure she makes the tennis team by fifth grade and Yale by seventh grade.’ That’s not our job. Our job is to look and say, ‘You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.’ That’s our job. Show me a generation of kids raised like that, and we’ll end the problems I think that we see today.” — Brene Brown