Thursday 18 April 2013

Sandy Paint: Weekend Play

We love to make a mess of weekends.

Weekends are when I road test ideas I get about play - usually it's when I can join in and we can get messy.  There's some magic in sensorial play that makes Ladybug Girl practice concentration and build confidence through new experiences.

Weekends are also when yaya gets her days off, so these are the times to bring out the extra-special bonding ideas like this:

Like most kids, two of her favorite things are paint and sand.  So why not combine the two?

This had only 5 minutes of set-up time outside.  I invited her outside after her nap for a surprise:

"What's this..!" - A child's awe is a joy to behold.

I showed her the materials and said she could mix the paint and sand together.  Then stepped back, curious, to let her lead the play and learn more about her.

When I started out two years ago on a playful parenting style, I would direct a lot of her play towards how I pictured "fun" would be in my head.  Later on, I read that when parents do that, it stops creativity and confidence - and in fact we would have a lot of stand-offs that stop the fun.

For example, I had expected this to be the outcome:

Mix first, then make pictures with the sponge brushes.

But Ladybug Girl had other ideas.  She started with something familiar we do:

She put a blob of paint and then folded to make a print.  Then added something new: a sprinkle of sand on top.

And that began her art:

Dab.  Sprinkle. Shake.

And kept her going.

Dab.  Sprinkle.  Shake.


... was

... fascinated!

I fully expected her to lose interest after her usual half hour (if I'm lucky).  But this time she kept at her work for an hour and twenty minutes.

And I was fascinated seeing her in deep concentration.

See how filled up the paper was getting?

I was not oblivious to Ladybug Girl's "come on, mommy!" urgings.  So typical that despite her concentration, she remains sensitive to the people around her.

As I joined in,  my little Dove would look over to keep encouraging "that's beautiful, mommy!"

But really it was she I was intent upon.  I was indulging in some mom-fantasy:

This reminded me of a scene I witnessed along the quaint Haji Lane in Singapore, of this shop owner doing her thing.   Awesome Guy and I sometimes talk about how we wish Ladybug Girl to grow up specializing in a craft of her own expertise  Not corporate - haha.   

Oh I am so wondrous of the magic of play.

She was incredibly proud of her finished work.

As was I.

Now that was fun.  And it was just sandy paint.

  There's something so great about gunky hands.  It's a mark of getting lost in satisfying play.  And proof of why weekends are pretty special to a corporate mom.


  1. that was lovely! Hurray! Im done with all of your post and I love everything.. looking for more!!!

    see you around darling!

    1. Thanks, Joan! Although I don't know if I can keep this up if I have FOUR kids, like you do!

  2. Beautiful work, Ladybug!!! You are quite creative... just like your mommy!!! ; )

    1. This is no cake masterpiece, but it'll do!;)

  3. Love the combo of paint and sand! Just pinned!

  4. What a work of art! Her smile in the last photo is precious! =)

  5. Wow it's so beautiful! :)


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