Creating (Im)perfectly Together

Welcome to the August Carnival of Natural Parenting: Creating With Kids

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they make messes and masterpieces with children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

This summer the boys, Bella and I sat down and made a huge list of all the things we wanted to do together. We had just moved to a new home in a new country and with no friends close by we thought this would be a great way to fill our time.  What I didn’t know is that it would also end up being a great excercise for me.

While we made our list, I contributed ideas by asking questions and we came up with some fun ideas like painting with balls, making bubble wands and cooking up mud burgers to name a few.  Aware that these were mostly my ideas (although all things I thought they would enjoy) I wanted to give the boys a chance to have their own ideas, it was after all their summer and I had an inkling that they would come up with some really cool stuff to do.

At some point as we were talking about puffy paint, I mentioned we could mix flour and food coloring; my three year old chimed in and started talking about using flour to make a giant chocolate cake, “so giant like a volcano, full of chocolate lava for licking and even eating big slices.” He was excited in that way a three year old gets; huge eyes and so many words coming all together. Everything seemed possible.  I decided to just sit and listen and soon the boys had a slew of things they wanted to do.  From digging for dinosaur bones to building a Viking sail, watching their enthusiasm and creativity was priceless.  Once our list was done, each day we tackled a few of the items.

I confess some of the items on their list seemed impossible but after they insisted we try building a “real” pirate ship I quickly realized their ideas and expectations were really not so hard to meet – it was much more important to them that we work together and have fun in the process of attempting these things than to have them be perfect.

Alas, my expectations were the only ones that were high – so I dropped them – and besides having a fun filled amazing summer so far, I have also had a wonderful reminder that processes, togetherness and fun are much more important than aiming for perfection.

  A few of our favorite moments creating this summer:

We built a basketball hoop with a carpet, tape and a piece of travel crib. The picnic table was a custom "solution" by Nicolas.


We painted a canvas by rolling balls with paint inside a box.


We built a pirate ship in the backyard with rope, a ladder, picnic table, cardboard,a piece of wood and one screw and bolt.
Painting with sponges - Bella had her first go with regular paint.




































Mixing chocolate "LAVA" for our volcano cake.




Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 9 with all the carnival links.)

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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a Masters in Psychology and is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, and one cuddly dog.

24 Responses to Creating (Im)perfectly Together

  1. Excellent reminder that we need to adjust our expectations when we’re following our children’s lead. I love that you honored their ideas and had fun family experiences in the process!

  2. it sounds like a lot of fun in your house! I think if I asked my DD what she wanted to create I’d still be sitting there now taking notes. LOL! It’s lovely that you took your kid’s feelings into account and reached perfect compromises. Lovely photos too – thanks for sharing!

  3. We are trying to have lots of fun 😉 Bella is 15 months and the boys are 3yrs and 5 yrs. Never a dull moment 🙂

  4. It is so much fun – we did two different kinds of painting with the balls, once with ramps and once in the box – please feel welcomed to take a peek at how we did it 🙂 both totally worth repeating sometime soon!

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