Making Mistakes

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So this month my son is really into markers, particularly the lids (which is definitely better as it means less marker on the walls however, it does mean that we constantly have marker on our hands). I’m not sure why anyone ever thought that non-washable markers was a good idea (or really my thought should be about what possessed me to buy them in the first place). My son’s absolute favorite thing to do is put the marker lids on his on his fingers (which he then appropriately calls marker fingers) and then tries to play with his toys which inevitably results in frustration since he can’t accomplish anything with markers on his fingers. What gets me, is that he still tries every time. My son is a clever kid, I know all parents think that about their own children, so I’m ok with the eye roll at your computer screen. My question is that how come toddlers will try something over and over again regardless of whether or not they keep getting the same outcome? At what age do we start making those connections? I think maybe some of us never do, it’s like having a hangover (kind of), you wake up with that pounding headache and you swear you’ll never drink again and yet that hangover seems to somehow magically appear. Is it an innate thing in some of us, do some toddlers really learn from their errors? I happen to know they do, one of my girlfriend’s daughter closed her finger in the kitchen drawer and guess what, she didn’t do it again. Maybe it’s a male versus female thing? Or is it something we learn with age?

The truth is learning from our mistakes is an extremely important life lesson. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” (Albert Einstein). Some of the most difficult life lessons we learn stem from a bad desicion we made. Good judgement can come from the experience of having bad judgement. Learning from our mistakes teaches us to rethink situations, come up with different solutions and thus encourages us to think creatively.

So, go on put those marker fingers on and try to pick up a train or a block, try, try and try again because eventually you’ll learn it’s not working and you’ll try a different way. In the mean time, I’ll just hope that the marker finger fad fades away (or washes out for that matter).

Craft Ideas for All Ages!

ImageI just did a talk on how to nurture creativity within yourself and with your little ones. It was for a great group of moms who were really keen on getting their kids crafting more (my kind of moms). Creativity is so important and will be more and more in the generations to come as standard employment positions will cease to exist and we’ll need to think more creatively in the job market, or for resources, etc. Being creative to children is so natural. Ken Robinson describes creativity and children so perfectly in his famous quote: “we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it”. It’s important we nurture creativity in our little ones as much as we can and we can do so by encouraging them to think outside of the box, to explore and to use their imaginations. Find a space in your house that you can designate to “creating”. Ikea sells the perfect “craft” table for little ones and let them get started!

For those of you that have kiddies who don’t like to craft, try presenting them with not your “typical” crafting ideas like gluing or painting. Getting a big cardboard box and turning it into a house is a great activity. Not only are they using their creativity to make the house but then it provides hours of entertainment after.

Here are some great crafts, that can also serve as entertainment after!

For your Toddler:

ImageToddlers love to sort things. This is a great craft because if you pick up a bunch of different coloured button bags from the dollar store, they can sort them into colours first and then pick some to glue onto the box. It also works on their fine motor skills, the sorting and gluing. If you purchase a few boxes that fit into each other this will definitely keep them entertained for a while!

ImageFor your Preschooler:

This craft is also very educational as you can teach your child about the life cycle of plants as well. I got this ceramic pot from the dollar store, you can use paints and glitter to decorate, make sure you seal it with something, like Mod Podge, as it will be getting wet from watering (or kept outside). If your plant dies, perhaps an opportunity to also teach them about the life cycle!

For your School Age Child:

ImageAnother dollar store gem! You could either turn this into a puzzle, have your older child make it for a younger child. Cut out some shapes for them to trace onto the pieces and then have them use paints or markers to decorate. Or buy some chalkboard paint and turn the pieces into an X&O game. The possibilities are endless.