Typically, I steer away from a doing any type of “cookie cutter” art projects. I think it’s really important that children come up with original ideas and use their own minds to create, rather than seeing an example and then repeating someone else’s idea. But last week, I saw a project that I knew my little chick would love so much, I had to cave in! I saw a cute sample on Pinterest (unfortunately the original link could not be found) on how to make chickens from your child’s hand. With a quick change here and there, and without attempting to interfere, we soon had a whole hen house full of little chickens!
To help make this project more child-focused and a little less about completing a “correct” project, I decided to help more with the inital set-up of the project, then slowly disappear from the craft scene once she got started. The thing about kids and art I have learned, is that they really don’t need as much help as we tend to think they do. To organize this project in a way that she could do it on her own, I decided to cut everythingbefore she began; including the shape of her hand, the eyes, the beak and gobbler. Then, I put them all over the table with the blank heads. At that point I didn’t say anything, I just let her decide where each of the body parts should go. Quickly and independently, she figured everything out. And although some of the eyes were off-centered here and the gobbler was upside-down there, it didn’t matter. She was doing the project exactly as she wanted. All I had to do was hang that little bird up when she was done.
And goodness, was she ever proud when they were all done. Just in time for her Dad to come home and see them! He thought they were very cute, of course. Don’t you?