A few years ago I bought an amazing book. There may be other books out there with these exact amazing ideas in them–I wouldn’t know because THIS is the one I bought. It is called Creative Play for Your Toddler (
) I think it is a shame that they have that word “toddler” on there because the reality is that this book has some creative toys that can be enjoyed over many ages–dolls, dollhouses/furniture from treeblocks, decorative mobiles, marionettes, puppets, etc. It has full-color pictures and very gentle and clear writing and instructions. Like most Waldorf literature, the narration describing different aspects of children’s play is poetic and beautiful. So now that I have heavily plugged this book (no, I am in no way kin to the author), I’ll tell the fun we’ve had this week making “moving pictures.” Obviously, being media-free, when I say “moving pictures” I am speaking of the 2-dimensional variety, but oh, are they fun and easy! Since we have Painting Day every Thursday, I often wonder what to do with MY paintings (Cecily’s get hung our walls). Sometimes I turn them into cards or write our grocery lists on them or use them for memorializing the poetry and songs that Cecily endlessly creates, but this week I remembered a project from my book. It just so happened that we kind of went on a bear hunt with our stories this week so on Painting Day we decided to paint bears underneath a tree, licking up honey dripping from a beehive. So, back to our project … After my bear painting dried I had Cecily draw a bird and a honeybee while I took a boxcutter and poked two small holes in my painting–one in the sky and one in the tree, and then, using fine, sharp scissors I cut out wavy lines, starting from where I made original poke with the boxcutter. Once Cecily had done her bit of drawing a bluebird and a bee, I cut them out and hotglued them to the tips of wooden crafting sticks (aka Popsicle sticks) and inserted the bottom of the sticks through the slots. Voila! Moving Pictures! I ended up telling a story about Winnie the Pooh (we love A.A. Milne’s Pooh stories–the original Pooh!) going for a hummy sort of walk in the woods and resting by a large tree which was really quite wonderful, seeing as how this tree had a beesnest that was dripping puddles of honey. Then, while he was dreaming honeyish dreams a little bird flew into the tree and sang a beautiful song (*insert trilly birdsong here*) but then a mischievous honeybee came along and saw Pooh eating the honey and it buzzed over and landed on his nose. Pooh’s nose twitched and twitched (*this was a favorite part because, of course, I demonstrated the nose-twitching*) and then he sneezed that bee right off and clear across the forest. I think the main points to be made are that 1) moving pictures are an easy and creative way to ignite children’s creativity–even for the young 5-year-olds who so often want to do meaningful crafts but lack many of the fine motor skills of doing so, and 2) storytelling doesn’t have to be that great to make great memories.