I spent a few days last week feeling mopey and unfocused. We didn't really do anything; we watched a lot more TV than I like. I kind of floated through the days, and when I'm disorganized I can tell it affects the kids too. So I made the decision that this week would be better. This week would be amazing and fun-filled and awesome. Every day would be a huge party! (I'm sure you can see where this is headed.)
Okay, so, guess what? That didn't happen. But I did make some plans, break some plans, and learn some things over the past few days. Here are a few things I'm taking away from this week:
Switch things around. I made this fun little felt banner (har har har) and hung some streamers on Sunday night after David went to bed. When he woke up in the morning on Monday he saw it and said "party!" So that was successful. I also took all his art supplies and put them out on his table in baskets and mason jars. Having different and new toys visible and right at hand changed the way he played this week.
Change the scale of things. We normally draw on small paper. I picked up this big pad of newsprint and David seemed to enjoy making huge scribbles instead of little scribbles. I also moved the furniture around and spread a sheet out on the carpet. Again, switching things up helped change our routine a bit. (Note: normally when "we" draw, it's really more of "me" drawing. I draw a lot of animals and baseball players, obviously.)
Sometimes pretty things are not perfect things. I was really excited to make our own play-doh and used this recipe from an image on pinterest. Play-doh made with jello! It comes pre-colored and smells nice too! Plus the recipe suggested adding glitter near the end, which I did, and it turned out totally cute. However. It was so sticky it's almost worthless to play with. Maybe I'll find a different recipe to use but I was kinda bummed at how this one turned out.
Don't be afraid to change your plans. I think this is one of my strengths as a parent actually. I never try to force anything that's just not working. I had wanted David to try acrylic paints (and had other plans to paint sticks and make leaf prints this week). But as you can see, he painted about three stripes and then turned the paint palette into some kind of bug train (I think that's the scenario he made up?) Which wasn't what I had planned, but hey. . . that's pretty cool. So we played bugs instead.
And finally: Know your kid. So some of this stuff was fun, but really. . . David is not a crafts kid. He is an outside kid. I have to accept that. By Wednesday morning I scrapped most of our plans for the day and we went to the baseball field instead. Afterwards I noticed a HUGE turn around in his attitude. Thursday morning it was about 50 degrees but we played at the playground for almost 2 hours, running and swinging and chasing geese and playing in the sand. I think it was the happiest day we've had all week.
Maybe by next year we'll decorate pumpkins and make bubble paintings and have storytime in a fort. But for now I'm going to take advantage of the rest of the nice weather this fall and do active David stuff and have lots of fun anyway.