Being mindful by getting crafty with my nephews:
Today I bravely stepped into the unknown… craft time with both my young nephews, at the same time! As their mummy’s birthday is coming up, I thought it would be nice to make her birthday cards with them.
Trying to think of ideas that would engage their attention, I was inspired by photos of a dear friend leaf rubbing with her little girl. Aha I thought, the perfect idea to make craft time interactive and fun with my highly energetic nephews, and a great way to combine nature and art.
Ok, so here we go.
Step 1: Collecting leaves. Enlisting my mum as Chief Craft Assistant, we started off by taking a short stroll to find some fallen leaves. It was lovely to be outside with the boys and watch them joyfully running around looking for the “biggest leaves ever”. Needless to say, we all wandered home happily, little hands full of autumn leaves.
So far so good.
Step 2: Leaf rubbing fun. Not having done this since childhood, I had a sneaky test-run earlier in the day and thought I’d make a batch of ready-made art in case the boys didn’t want to do it. But thankfully, I didn’t need to use them as they loved it. Callum carefully placed the leaves onto the paper and got stuck in using the rainbow of crayons. Thomas was mesmerised by what happened when he coloured on the plain sheet of paper on top of the leaves. “It’s magic” he excitedly shouted out, as the delicate shapes, textures and vein structure of the leaves came through brightly and vividly.
Doing really well so far.
Step 3: Drawing around hands. One of Thomas’ favourite things to do is drawing round his hands, so this was a doddle. Getting him to stop was not so easy! Callum enjoyed it too. The boys watched in wonder as Auntie Helen cut out their colourful paper hands and stuck them onto the front of the cards.
Step 4: Adding words. For three-year-old Thomas’ card, I put a crayon in his hands and guided him to write “Happy Birthday Mummy, love Thomas”. As we drew the kisses, he sweetly blew a kiss to each ’X’. He then insisted we draw around his hand again inside the card, and also around his favourite car – which I had to draw wheels. headlights, and ALL the artwork on the car, including “lots of stars” and the number 88.
For six-year-old Callum’s card, he wanted to write the words himself. He asked me to write them out on a separate piece of paper so he could copy. When I asked what he wanted to write, he earnestly replied: “You are the best mummy.” Heart-melt moment. He also added: ”Happy Birthday Mummy, love Callum” and “Hope you have a nice day”. He then covered the inside of the card with lots of big kisses. It was extra heart-melty as Callum usually isn’t that interested in crafts, so it was special to see him putting so much care and attention into his writing.
And we have success!
We agreed to keep it a big secret and give their cards to mummy after dinner. During dinner, Callum whispered to me when were we going to give his card to mummy; he was so excited to give mummy his card, bless him.
Step 5: Presenting their creations. Carrying their artwork into the room hidden behind their little backs, they proudly gave mummy their handmade birthday cards. It was such a sweet moment and my sister seemed touched and promised to treasure them.
This crafty session with the boys turned out to be the BEST fun, not only for them but for me too. (And worth having to spend tomorrow in bed to recover!). It is one of my most favourite and most treasured times with my little nephews.
I also loved hearing that on their walk home later, as they passed the place where we’d picked the leaves, Thomas asked his daddy if they could stop and pick some more leaves… awwwww!
So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful by getting crafty with my nephews.