Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Welcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
As the mom of two little boys, I own a lot of cars.  Big cars, little cars, cars that go on tracks, cars that make noise, cars with remotes. My oldest loves them. And as a mom who tries to parent intentionally, I like to get on the floor at least once a day to just play. This play time more often than not (OK, always) revolves around those cars.

I'm embarrassed to say, I'm getting a little burnt out on cars. 

Naturally, since I am tired of playing with them I want to think that he is too. So we made a trip to our local craft store armed with some Pinterest ideas. Side note: that never makes for a cheap trip!

This week I brought out the poster paint and a fresh sheet of poster board. I thought we could make a picture that we could hang proudly in his room (since I have yet to find a suitable piece of artwork for the big boy room).

As it turns out, 25 months is a bit too young to use these paints. Or at least with my little man it is. Squeezing the bottle, which seemed to produce MUCH joy for him, let an excess amount of paint out. Trying to explain that little tidbit to a 2 year-old didn't go over well.

I enjoyed watching him mix the colors until I realized that by mixing the colors we were taking away the possiblilty of future use. See the black paint on all of the bottles?

At one point the red bottle was thrown to the floor with a squeal of glee. 

As I told my MIL of our painting fiasco she reminded me of the important part: he enjoyed it.

Which reminded me who I should be intentional about spending time with.  This time isn't for me, it's for him.

So here the picture sits, in our living room which he chose. You can imagine us sitting there today, playing with cars. :)

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children of all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don't always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking... Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen's family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she's sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Making Beautiful Things ... And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children's Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children's artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father's Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It's a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with... well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura's Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.


  1. He does look like he is enjoying it a lot! And I actually love the outcome - a bit abstract, but very happy and colourful!

  2. My son is about the same age and he loves using glitter glue pens. Same story: huge mess but he has fun!

  3. I love it! We started a lot of art projects "too young" and she had fun all the same...sometimes it definitely tested (tests) my patience but she always has a great time...and she still does!

  4. They always find different things to love about projects than what we expect, don't they :)

  5. He did a great job on the painting.

  6. Have you thought about combining the two? I've seen (probably on pinterest) driving a toy car's wheels through paint then driving on your paper. Or cut paper the size of the inside bottom of a cake pan, use the paper to line the pan, then put the car in and tip the pan around to drive it/paint with it.
    (a quick google search found this: http://familyfunnotebook.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-hear-i-see-i-touch-and-i-paint.html?m=1)

  7. I love those dot paints! I have a whole stack of holiday crafts i can't bear to throw away that we did with them.... yes,super messy, but fine motor skills were exercised!! :) Liam was impressed w/ the artwork too!

  8. You can imagine me playing with cars across the miles, right along with you. ;)

    I have the same problem with letting mess and chaos distract me from the fun my kids are having. It's a challenging balance, for sure! Sometimes I have to step back and let my husband take over the messier parts so I don't freak out. :)

    The painting ended up looking great!

  9. I love this picture. Oh, and the "don't squeeze too hard" doesn't really get easier for another few years. They love the excess! (My 4 year old and glue - ugh.) But it's all in the fun. Happy car playing.

  10. I love it that there is so much love in your post! :) I agree that the most important thing is that your little boy enjoyed the painting experience and he also certainly improved his dexterity!