Her desire to create is insatiable. Pens and paper are always in arms reach. Deep in the midst of imaginative play she pauses; I can almost see her synapses firing. And in an instant she is all snipping scissors, swirling colours and concentration tongue poking. She is creating.
We are eager to hand over such tools and let our kiddies plunge head first into this making world. Open slather we say and leave the paper shards that carpet our floor til the after bed time tidy up. This mess explodes like a confetti party popper but with a flick of a broom it is tamed. Paint on the other hand...
But heartened by words of famous educational theorist, Lev Vgotsky " What a child can do in cooperation today, he can do alone tomorrow." I began cultivating another space for my girl. A painting space she could delve into independently.
A few pots of colour, a paint palette for mixing, some brushes and an old jam jar for water. A basket of paper and tiny pegs, a plaited rope hooked on wonky nails. Then the gentle yet constant reminders of what painters do, how they care for their tools, how they clean up their studio after they have finished. The modelling of each step of the process, the praise for success; repeated many times.
She now puts on her art smock, retrieves her own water and returns it to the sink when she's done, hangs her paintings up to dry, and wipes the table clean with a damp cloth. Bless. Blobs of paint still make there way underfoot, wispy hair dangles in stained water and many a page is snatched by the wind. But how far we've come.
Armed with knowledge, support and the appropriate tools, I really believe our babies will rise to almost any challenge.