Saturday, September 13, 2008

Observe! Compare! Contrast! Describe!

I'm going to take a break from the mom paintings and write a little bit about the kid stuff we're doing in Warrior House. It's interesting that at the same time I am starting to do creative projects with my kids, I am becoming more creative in my own art. Coincidental? I don't think so.

This is a project about Ice, and melting and something called "reversible change." Where did the idea come from? From television? My best friend and my best babysitter. Actually, there's a new show on PBS called Sid the Science Kid. I'm loving this show, maybe it's the teacher in me, as I can see the week long curriculum themes. Maybe it's the couldhavebeen idea that I have had of being a biologist or a paleontologist. Maybe it's because I watch my kids jump up and dance when the characters do. Maybe it's because the questions on the show get G to start discussions or get interested in things like growing and decay and melting.

The other day Sid the Science Kid experimented with ice and melting and G and Ivy were so very interested and all of a sudden I thought, "Hey! I can do that!"
I think that's the key, that I-can-do-that attitude. That is where creativity comes from.

For a long time with my kids, I was too tired to even think of the possibilities. Too tired to jump on the doing that it takes. But perhaps the doing of the kid stuff feeds the doing of the art stuff. And perhaps the doing of the art stuff gives a mom enough energy and focus to do the kid stuff.

As an adult, you forget sometimes that kids are awed and entertained by the simple stuff. How often do you take ice for granted? How often does it annoy you when it is on your sidewalks, or your dinner for the night is still frozen when you should have defrosted it yesterday? How often do you drink a glass of something with a cool clink in it, and just think of the drink, not the miracle that is the reversible change of ICE.

All I did was take two kid size plastic cups, fill them with water and toss some grapes in there before putting it in the freezer and letting it ice over during nap time. All I did was fill a couple of pop bottles with water, and set the ice cups out in the garden on the cement pedestal (it used to hold a sundial, but we removed that before someone could get poked on it, and it makes a fine stand for experiments or for taking photos of art works.)

The kids were thrilled to just be allowed to pour glasses of water and watch the ice melt. They got to touch and taste and see, hear the glug glug of the water, smell... well I don't know what there was to smell, but they were sticking their faces in the ice cups to lick them, so I bet the smelled that frosty smell. Sure, yeah. I think ice smells frosty. All five senses. Curiosity. The ability to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN. Playing in water. Eating frozen grapes. These are all good good things.

In fact, as I was just looking for the link, I realized how much PBS has given us to work with the show to encourage our kids to, in their words, "Observe! Compare! Contrast! Describe!"

How exciting. That isn't far off from art, you know. Art and science are both ways that we, as humans come to understand our world. Sometimes they are very close, very very close. Oh it does make me excited for some of the things I can do with my kids.

Hmmm... what should we do next?


Pajama Girl said...

art and science are very cool, like frozen grapes, warrior mamma, and the 2 cool kids she has.

i have an award for you because you are a great art mamma too!

Christy said...

Very cool project, warrior mama!

Kate Lord Brown said...

Great idea - my kiddies would love this. So easy to forget that everything is new to them ... great way to see things with fresh eyes.

Melissa said...

This is brilliant. Very inspiring! :)

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