I have an amazing sister. I know, this is not a blog where I brag about my family too often. But no joke, she’s awesome. When it comes to being the fun aunt, she’s even better. Our vacation this summer mainly involved staying at my sister’s place where we went on loads of fun adventures to the beach and Coney Island and more. Back to my sister, though. She anticipated nearly all of my daughter’s wants and needs… before M even knew she had them. She even had her willingly eating multiple helpings of salad… my daughter likes her veggies, but baby spinach? This was new for us…
I brought some toys my daughter hadn’t played with in a while hoping to fill some of the odd hours where we didn’t have something planned and we needed her to be able to play quietly so the adults could rest from all the traveling and excitement. But it was my sister who brought some real child-entertaining game.
We arrived to find a well-thought-out list of activities she had planned to keep M busy. There was dress-up, slinky racing (which M and my brother-in-law took off running with), and more drawing than I thought could be humanly possible, especially that done by the adults at the direction of my daughter.
However, the most impressive activity my sister came up with and the one that seems to keep on giving is the one involving thin cut-out wooden bears. Think paper dolls, but made from wood liken to a tongue depressor. My daughter helped direct how she wanted the faces drawn on… I snuck off for a nap… and when I awoke – all three bears had paper outfits cut out of fancy card stock. I don’t just mean dresses.. There are shoes, a hat and a purse.
Plus, these outfits aren’t glued on. There is the potential for more outfits to be created. That’s because my sister thought to also get that weird blue wall putty stuff that you can hang pictures on your walls without messing up the paint. The stuff that will now always be referred to as the amazing putty that allows my child to make her own bear dolls’ clothing that will stay on when we want it to but be so easily changed to a new outfit on a whim. No silly fold-over paper tabs where the clothing inevitably falls off in less than five seconds like normal paper dolls.
Since we’ve been home, I’ve been incredibly inspired to come up with more fun crafting/play time for my daughter and me. Last summer we had dabbled in some art journaling. This summer, M is going at it full force. We pulled out the paints, stencils, glitter glue, crafting tape and craft paper and she has been adding to her pages pretty consistently.
We also pulled out some other projects I had planned on us completing together…. years ago. We finally painted and decorated the wooden letters for her name and hung them on the wall of her room by stringing them on decorative ribbon (less nail holes).
I’ve also been struggling to find ways to better display all of the artwork she creates both at school and at home, so we hung a couple more lines of ribbon in her room and are hanging each piece with clothes pins. Now she has her own little art exhibit that she gets to curate.
For our next project, we will be revisiting the bears by making them homes. Shoe box homes. I told her we could paint them to look like rooms and paint furniture and rugs and such. She turns to me and says “and we can cut out a door and make windows too!”. I hear we will also be gluing the shoe boxes together to make a little bear mansion…. It will likely take up the rest of our summer!