Friday, 8 March 2013

Environmental enrichment

What can you do with an hour of peace while your toddler naps?  The temptation for me is always to buzz around doing housework, but this week I decided to reclaim a bit of me time.  So one hour, a scruffy egg box door,  and less than a fivers worth of tester pots produced this.  I've never made a big painting, or done much painting at all in the (too many) years since I left school, so the potential of this to go pear shaped was high.  If it was truly terrible though, I figured the worse thing that would happen was that I'd need to repaint the door.  So there I was, wearing my old lab coat and singing to myself and pretending I was an artist.  I readily admit I am not technically proficient in the slightest, but I am surprised at how chuffed I am with this experiment.

What's the rationale for over sized artwork in the house?  As well as it being really healthy for your own mind to have some kind of creative outlet, it is also fantastic for babies and children to have a bright, visually stimulating environment.  Interesting things to look at stimulate brain development in the same way that any other sensory stimulation does.  I didn't want to make the room too chaotic looking though, as this is a space for sleeping as well as playing, so I'm hoping that opting for a natural scene I have struck a good balance.  I left the bottom third of the door painted as plain sand so that as we find or produce pictures of savanna dwelling plants and animals the boys can add them in, probably with bluetack so they can be regularly added to and updated.  Ollie's response was to ask if he could paint on the walls, so he seemed keen on the idea of banishing the magnolia, although I don't think I'm brave enough to let him free rein with his paintbox straight onto the walls.  A big pinboard for his paper creations is definitely in order methinks.