I started merrily stringing and knotting the pompoms on black perle cotton. Unlike Leila, I didn't make a knot on either side of the pompom because I found that the pompoms still slid around; instead, I tied a double knot directly on the pompom itself and the fluff covered it right up.
Mid-project, I set my strings aside to tend to a party, but the strings got so entirely tangled that not even my mom, my sis, and my sister-in-law could untangle them! I was so mad. I snipped the pompoms free and threw away a lot of perle cotton. Learn from my example if you want to make a pompom garland! I very carefully kept the strands straight until they were done, and then I carried them directly to their hooks.
I love it.
Airy, like sprinkles in the lime green room.
Now, underneath those pretty pops of color is A Very Messy Desk. The children share it. I can hardly bear to look at it. We try to clean it once a week, usually on Saturdays, but I swear as soon as the brown desk surface reappears and there is space for a project, the children happily submerge themselves in projects and the mess starts up again.
I want them to do projects and have art materials, but I want them to learn the value of tidying up. If they want to keep their desk in a different manner when they are adults, that is their business. I will try not to judge and feel like a failure; I will say they take after their father. I will let it go, really.
In the meantime, thanks to Rebecca who knows more about parenting than I do, I've come to realize that we are teaching the children about clean desks in these three ways:
Method 1: Parent cleans desk while children are away and takes the trash directly out to the garbage can.
Pros: The desk is clean, an excellent exhibit for the children. Parents can throw tacky things away without child's knowledge!
Cons: Parent's time. Child has not helped with cleaning.
Method 2: Parent stands over child for specified amount of time, maybe 15-30 minutes (so parent doesn't go insane) and guides child through each organizing decision: yes, the marker goes in the marker box; is that a piece of paper you want to save? then pin it to the bulletin board; put all your paper clips together in this little can, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
Pros: Child learns the actual process of organization. Process requires parent to eat chocolate before and after (soothing properties).
Cons: Parent must have infinite patience and no ironic or sarcastic tendencies. Parent may go insane. Desk may not be very clean because the process is slow.
Method 3: Parent tells child to clean desk by specified time (or else it could take all day). Parent does not enter the room, but may cajole from a distance. Child may attempt to put organizational skills (see Method 2) in practice, but usually ends up throwing a lot of things in drawer or trash. Whatever.
Pros: Very little parental energy expended. Children working.
Con: Messy desk.
|I gave the children the extras, thinking they could use them as play food. The children promptly cut them up for a project.|
How do you teach small people to tidy up their own work areas? I'd love some tips!