It’s time for July’s Mini-Masterpieces Link-up already. At present we have lots of half-finished art projects strewn around the house that my boys have started, (not to mention mine of course !) These are all pieces that they have initiated and started work on themselves with no input from me.
So we currently have:
A half-finished caterpillar (actually completely unrelated to Eric Carle’s anniversary, but spookily similar, so probably with some influence – I suspect they may have the book at nursery).
A half-finished Ben 10 watch constructed from paper.
A 3/4 finished Fire-Engine painting. It looks pretty finished to me, but I am assured by my 4 year old, that it is not.
2 half finished paintings inspired by a recent episode of Mister Maker which they both wanted to have a go at immediately (I am always called in to watch when this is on TV, so that I know how to help them make these things). It awaits torn black paper silhouettes apparently….
One cut out shark, a cut-out elephant, and something unidentified which may be a car. My 4 year old loves to cut things out, so his scissor skills are getting quite sophisticated now.
There’s more, but I thought this was quite enough to regale you with for the moment.
As you can imagine, I’m quite keen to encourage this kind of independent creativity, but the problem I have is that I never know what to do with all these unfinished projects – I leave them lying around hopefully for a day or two just in case they will remember spontaneously to complete them (after all this is the way I work, with half a dozen of my own half-finished projects strewn about) but it has to be said that this is usually a case of being optimistic because most things are never completed. I hate to throw them away, but usually end up having to do so eventually. If I ask them, they always want to keep everything – and if I do throw something away I have to do it secretly because they become desperately upset if they spot something of theirs in the bin.
I think learning to finish things is an important life lesson, so maybe I’ll have to get a bit tougher and encourage them to finish things a little more, without getting too draconian about it. I know so many adults who repeatedly start projects and never finish them. Part of the problem I think is that both of them are perfectionists, and then of course like most children they will get distracted by something else, or start a creative project about 5 minutes before we’re due to leave the house to go somewhere. So, instead of completing the first project, they start the next. But then I have to confess that sometimes I am guilty of that too, and I won’t always finish every project either!
I’ve always been of the opinion that there is still a fair bit of learning to be obtained from an unfinished project, if not quite the same satisfaction levels as you would get from a finished one. I think maybe it’s just a question of balance so that at least some of the work gets completed occasionally.
If you have any mini-masterpieces that your kids have created recently, feel free to share by adding them to the linky below. Hopefully it’s working properly, but for some reason I’ve been having a few problems with it this time so I need to do some further investigation. And if you’re on Flickr, don’t forget the Artful Kids Flickr Group for children’s artwork (under the age of 12).
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