Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

Monday, October 14, 2013

Family Time :: The Peninsula Fine Arts Center (& Why Art Matters)

Mister J and I had some Mommy one on one time the other Saturday. Our wonderful local Arts Center, PFAC, has free weekends once a month so I had pre-planned on going.

PFAC has rotating themed exhibits. The one we saw was "Aquatic" which was perfect for Jonas since he is such an ocean and shark lover. Then in the back of the center the have their "Hands on Art" kids center.

It is chock full of art books, manipulatives, art games, art puzzles, craft materials (that you're free to use), and more.

As you can see from above we made full use of all of their goodies. Jonas is a block and puzzle lover so he gravitated toward those first. Then he spied the art supplies and was off. He pulled out various pieces and decided he'd make a dinosaur puppet. All on his own. No prompting. I love how they just stock lots of open ended materials and let the kids decide what to make.

I also loved it because I could just be one on one with him. My older kids have to share me a lot because of Miss B. Which is fine and is just the life stage we're in but I still try to make a point to have Mommy dates.

Another reason why I enjoyed this trip so much was that Jonas got to be totally immersed in art. His creativity was unhindered. There was no agenda. He was able to freely express himself and had multiple mediums to do so.

I've been reading and researching a bit more on child development and more specifically differences between boys and girls.

In particular earlier on boys tend to be weaker when it comes to fine motor skills, which seems be related to how boy's parietal lobes process sensitive tactile data. At times this can deter them from certain art mediums. Boys also learn best experientially at a young age due to the amount of grey matter boys have in their brains which makes their brains less able to multitask. Having lots of manipulatives out and keeping verbal instructions to a minimum are best. (Gurian 124)

So with that in mind art matters quite a bit. No only does it encourage boys to use fine motor skills in fun and engaging ways, which then helps build up their parietal lobe, but it also allows them to learn experientially and hands on. I think most importantly is that- for both boys and girls- art is a whole brain activity, like music. All hemispheres are being stimulated when kids are allowed to make art in an open ended environment with minimal direction. Plus since our brain is a muscle, when little ones are using all of it- their brains are getting a workout, in a good way.

So all in all it was a great day. We had fun. We slowed down and enjoyed one another. Moreover Jonas got to do something he loves and that consequently gave his little brain a  workout, and he didn't even know it!

If you're ever in Newport News, check out PFAC! Admission is cheap and it's worth it just on the money you'll save on art supplies. Plus there's a gorgeous park and trail nearby and a neat wooden playground right next door.

Ps: Linking up this week with my dear friend Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm and Craft On!
Love & Light,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Curious Georges

Today was a good day. All of my days with my children are good, even if that particular day is trying. With two kids (ages 3.6 and 1.5 years old) you need to be able to make a quit exit from any public place when things start to go south. Thus far that plan has worked well for us and did so again today. 

I personally feel that it is unfair to expect young children to act like adults when you go out in public. So I do not expect my children to act that way and therefore I do not take them places where that type of behavior is expected. Sit down restaurants are one of those places. The few times we have gone, we all had a great time and the kids were phenomenal. Today at MacArthur Mall went well too...for awhile. So I had to leave early from an extended family lunch with my kids. It was stressful but that's ok. I mean it was already past nap time and it was hour late than we usually eat lunch, so truly they did better than I thought they both would. 

But anyway I digress, I suppose my point is that even if a day is not idyllic like yesterday and my plans get changed, I do not deem the day "bad". Every day is a gift from God and soon enough a new one has arrived, so why sweat the small stuff? 

Today, in addition to the mall, we all went with Craig's family to the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk. Right now they have a children's exhibit open on Curious George and the art of Margaret and H.A. Rey. I loved it, the kids loved it, and so did Craig! We had a ball- minus Jonas not being able to drink his bottle inside. After we finished with the child part, we wandered the rest of the museum looking at the modern art and sculptures. I personally love art. I took two art history courses in college and one in high school. In every big city I visited in Europe, the art museum was one of the first places I went to. So to see my kids enjoying art was lovely. Deirdre and I also got to discuss art which was a real treat to see her so into it and interpreting it. 

So yes today was a good day. A blessed day. A day in which I choose to focus on the overwhelming positive points and ignore the few negative blips. Mere blips. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Art and our Waldorf Co-op

PS: We have 3 chrysalises 

Now on to the blog: 

Tonight is a lazy night. We did not get home from our day trip until 7:30pm. Today the kiddos and I visited my mother and brother in Virginia Beach, my hometown. I also was lucky enough to see my high school/college best friend Jess during nap time- a rare and sweet time for us both now that we both have kids! I missed her daughter's baptism last weekend due to Jonas being sick, but I was there today and was able to give her a little homemade reversible quilted bib. Abbie's gift was the first sewn gift I have given anyone besides my kids. So I am nervous about it. I am very critical of my sewing. But babies are forgiving :) I just love that little Abbie! 

But on to the focus of the blog! Part of my homeschooling vision is incorporating Waldorf education into our daily lives and schooling. This all began back in October when a dear friend Sarah gave me a Nova Natural toy catalog. Yes, this all began with toys! Their catalog was pure art and so vastly different to anything I have seem commercial on the market. Something deeply resonated with me while flipping through their pages. That resonation drove me to dig deeper and see the aesthetic and vision behind the toy company. All of that then lead to Waldorf education. At the time, I had never heard of Waldorf before, which was shocking and disappointing  since I was studying 'Education' and recently received my Masters in Teaching. 

So after falling in love with Waldorf and finding my mothering compass, I began making small subtle changes in our home and schooling. One of the aspects of Waldorf that I love the most is their attention to arts and crafts as well as the respect it is given when created by a child. My daughter was particularly drawn to wet-on-wet watercolor painting and beeswax modeling. I however had never seen any of the supplies that I needed to do these activities in our local Michael's. So I turned to the Internet! 

While Nova does supply the things I needed, I could not afford to keep getting them as often as required from them. Even though their prices are very very reasonable!  I generally use Nova for our Waldorf toys and household items. No one beats them in that department. But Bella Luna Toys is also high up on my list. I love Sarah Baldwin

So for our quality Waldorf home-schooling supplies we turned to Cedar Ring Circle Co-op. Becca over there is a fellow Momma and works so hard for the families in the Co-op. She helps supply us homeschooling Moms with quality and affordable Waldorf supplies. We do a monthly order, and members get an awesome discount. I highly suggest them to you. We are so pleased and grateful. Traditional large schools can afford to buy in bulk, but homeschoolers don't have that luxury, yet we all want the necessary supplies for our kids, right? Also since Waldorf is specialized and not well known, the supplies and toys used are hard to find and can be expensive. 

So my fellow Waldorf home school moms, please check Cedar Ring Circle out if you need to access to quality Waldorf supplies! I am so glad that I did! 


DD's 1st wet-on-wet watercolor

nature table 
DD's 2nd wet on wet watercolor painting

She uses it now as a carpet for her gnome house. 

Nature/Painting Corner

A Tiger!- Beeswax crayons have such great color to them and glide on so smooth.