Friday, November 9, 2012

Turkey Hat--Thrice As Nice Or:Another Plea For Creativity

Yesterday I wrote a post about this week's Novem-Bear program, which has different, cool stuff that I didn't use at last year's Novem-bear program and in it I commented that no matter how often I play "Going On A Bear Hunt", or tell "Sody Salleratus", it is always different. Something new always comes out of it each time.

Storytelling, game playing are journeys of the imagination. There's always something fresh and new if you look for it.

I will post that story time later next week because it was a blast and because I'm going to be doing it yet again for the only programs I'm doing next week--two sessions for my favorite local preschool. But instead, today, I want to talk about the craft I did yesterday, because it's really related.

I have been even less organized than usual at work--between several days off for Hurricane Sandy and my angst about the election I really didn't plan well for my craft for my afternoon, age 3 and up program. And when I started to assemble what I needed for a "triangle turkey" I discovered I was missing the one and only pattern piece I needed, the turkey head. So I went on the web and decided I'd done something like this craft, which I found in Parents Magazine's website.

You can click on the photo and get full directions, but I just grabbed some paper plates and the magic markers. I usually would have made templates for circles so the kids could practice tracing with a marker and  cutting with a scissors--a skill they really need to learn at this age. But time was short so I traced 4 circles of the right size on  a sheet of paper, stuck some plain white construction paper in my copy machine, and cut them myself.

They got the paper plate halves, the circles for the turkey heads and some markers. I grabbed a couple of packages of colored feathers from my craft stuff and let them pick two each.

No pattern. No instructions. Just "make a turkey hat". And here is what 3 of my friends did:


No, you really are seeing triple here--these three young ladies are triplets and I've known them since they were toddlers. They are almost 5 now, but I still never remember who is who because they look so alike and often dress in the same outfits.

But they are 3 individuals. And it shows in their hats:

This is the most conventional.  Face in the middle, feathers left and right.

No face whatever--she just drew patterns.


And last but not least--she saw the turkey from a side view.Head on left at "front", feathers on right in "back". 


 Three sisters who look identical. But each THOUGHT about her craft in her own way and did her own thing.

The next time you're busy assembling perfect little patterns for perfect little crafts, please stop and think about what you want your kids to get out of these crafts. Is it to make a copy of what you do, or is it to learn new skills. Is it to THINK about what they're doing?

And then,please! Chuck away the patterns and the "models" and the rest and let them spend the time away from the goddamned IPads and computers having creative, thoughtful fun!

The results will amaze you.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome example with the triplets! I've recently had a few goose chases trying to find supplies for my girl scouts (now ages 9 & 10)because everything seems to come in "kits" these days and I can't find reasonably priced raw materials. (It doesn't help that I'm always running around on Monday at noon when the meeting is Monday at 2 pm....) And, due to the regular volunteer librarian at the school having surgery, I'll be running the library periods at the elementary school on Fridays for the next eight weeks or so. I only get to read to the Pre-K and K, but it's still a lot of fun.

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