May 13, 2012

Fostering Creativity - Create a Board Game!



I love being a mom.
I love my children and the joy they bring to my life.
So to all the Moms out there,
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.
And in the spirit of being a Mom, I'm going to brag a little about my children today.
*****
I love fostering creativity in my children.  I encourage them to try new things, and to also think of ways to entertain themselves beyond that big black box with moving pictures.  So when they ask if we can go to my craft room and color, or cut or glue, I say "Let's go!"
 
That is exactly happened with my son one Saturday morning.  I had sewn a new top for my daughter the night before and went downstairs to pick up my mess and he followed me down.  I have a game I created for one of my college art classes that was created out of wood, a wood burner and paint and we played a round of that.  Afterwards he got out my paper cutter and asked if he could cut some paper and I said yes.  And out of that he amazed me with this expansive game board:



 Several more off shoots were added after this photo was taken and it ended up being a large rectangle with lines connecting in the middle.  He called it "Snowing Wonder" and the concept is that you are a snow boarder and have to make your way along to the finish line.  He had some warming huts along the way and a Hot Chocolate Station (his favorite part of skiing!).  He asked if he could use one of my wood squares to make a di.  He also created pieces using wood cutouts I had in my stash. And the game was born.  He also asked his older sister to make him up some cards and then added colored dots along the way that held different meanings (ie: land on brown, draw a card, land on blue, visit the Hot Chocolate station).  All of this came from his own imagination.  He was so proud and asked me to write up the directions:


This was the first set, before the cards and other colored dots were added in.
 
After playing this for a day I mentioned that we could get a board and turn it into a real game and he jumped right on that wagon!  We stopped at my parents house because my dad has a bum load of scrap wood and found the perfect piece that was already painted and everything!  We headed home, grabbed my acrylic paints, some paint brushes, foam pouncers and a sharpie and headed outside to craft in the sunshine.
 
He was the director and artist and I was his helper and this is the result:


 We have the starting box and you can go in either direction:


A couple of the game obstacles and a place to set the cards
(he had me create the cards on the computer and laminate - not shown):


A few more obstacles and the finish line:


Not a bad game for a 4 year old!  And each of the obstacles and the different dots were his idea, I can not take credit.  I did help decide placement of the colors so that it made for fun game play; you know so you couldn't land on a purple dot your first turn and then get transported right up next to the finish line!

And yes, I plan on keeping this forever and ever and sharing it with him when he is older.  He is so proud of the end result.  He called his Grandparents and they had to come play a round.  They made such a big deal about it and he was just beaming.  I am so proud of my boy.

And he is not the only one with the imagination.  Olivia, my youngest, helped my parents with their fountain the same day and came home with a rock.... a rock she dubbed a baby and asked me to paint and turn into a "real" baby.  So my daughter is now walking around with this (thanks MOM):

 
She had me paint on a purple blanket so it looks like a swaddled baby... guess that was her way around the fact that it doesn't have arms or legs.  She walks around petting it and kissing it and saying "Mama loves you"... and I giggle every time because I'm pretty sure this is something I would have done.

"Rockie" is currently wrapped in a paper towel, laying on a paper towel bed in a tupperware container because she "needs a crib!"

Tell me, what fun and creative things have your kids made?
 Happy Creating! ~Kim
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