Monday, 15 March 2010

Spring Clean

Now I know this is small-scale, but as someone who uses their craft resources with two small children most days, a sort-out like this is a rare treat and as refreshing as a long drink of cool water.

When I was a class teacher, I once audited the Art resources of the whole primary school. Now that was no mean feat. I took over the entire assembly hall one Easter break and covered it with the paints and paintbrushes, mixing palettes and scissors, piles of scrap fabrics and paper we'd all been hoarding in our classrooms for years. The spring clean urge is strong in me then. This lot only took up my living room rug and a couple of child-free hours (thank you, nursery).

I have since reaped the benefits. Being able to produce with relative ease a resource suggested by one of my children has been hugely satisfying. I have also been able to offer one of the boxes, containing perhaps the ink stamps, or felt tips and stencils, or scrap paper and scissors and let them become absorbed in the simple freedom of exploring the medium. I've just supplied plain paper, card or an empty toilet roll or two as their canvas and let them loose.

Chatting about what happens when they scribble or colour over another colour, or discovering the kind of mark one pen makes compared to another, or discussing the colours and textures of different scraps of paper as they cut them up or stick them down is a lovely shared experience. The end result may not be wall-worthy but of course that's not the point here.

And I know I know, our craft stuff will get messed up and mixed up in a surprisingly short amount of time. But when it does, I'll just look at the photograph above and remember!

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