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Spring Break is finally here! This lazy week is the ultimate tease for summer among my educator friends and their families. In this house, I’m taking a long-deserved stay-cation to read and make crafts with my kids. Today, my daughter and I made a crafty mess, and I learned life lessons.
Crafts. HA! I saw a t-shirt on Pinterest once that said, “I’m so crafty I sweat glitter.”
I need a shirt that says, “Glitter makes me sweat.” So does Play-Doh, but that’s another post.
Family members gifted us with Creative Kids Glitter Sand Art last Christmas. I had avoided this project for the last three months. My daughter brought that box of colorful vacuum cleaner bait down this morning, though, sentencing our feet to crunch when we walk on the kitchen floor for the rest of the week. Sigh.
The last time we did sand art, my daughter was in Kindergarten. She’s now a third grader. Three years ago, I opened all the sand, but this time, she took control. My counter ran rivulets of orange grains of glitter sand within the first few seconds of today’s craft operation. Within minutes, my daughter got tired of the feel of the sand on her hands while she worked. She brushed the stuff into the floor out of her way when I wasn’t watching. Crunch.
One of the bottles turned over mid-craft, mixing up her carefully planned lines and adding some blue and purple to the orange pile on the kitchen floor. Luckily, I’m all about color.
As she dumped sand into her little bottles and created colorful little dunes on my counter, I thought about how she was taking charge of her own creativity. When she knocked over a bottle and ruined her neat lines of sand, she shrugged and figured out a way to make a new design work.
“Accidents happen,” she said, examining her mix-up bottle. “But it’s still pretty.”
By the third attempt, she had her sand a little more under control. Unlike me, she didn’t judge her own craft skills. She was just having fun. I thought back to Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset and the posts I’d written about it here and here.
Today, as I watched my kitchen fill up with sand, I realized that my daughter really didn’t care about the end products, either. She was completely enamored with the joy of the watching the colors mix and the textures in the sand. At nine years old, my child was completely wrapped up in the journey rather than fixating on the destination.
When she finished, she gathered up those bottles of carefully poured sand and declared that they would make great trophies for her Barbie doll skate board contest.
As I brushed the sand dunes off my counter, I thought about how quickly she’d morphed from a kindergartener to a third grader. As the extra sand slipped through my fingers and back into the bags for safekeeping, I mentally trashed my to-do list for the week. I’d learned my daily life lesson. I stretched, then crunched across the kitchen floor to go watch her play.