"No mama, we have to MAKE a field goal!" said my son as we were smearing strips of paper with glue. He has decided lately that he loves everything football and woke up yesterday morning determined to somehow obtain a football helmet. This was not the first time I had heard his desire. We spent the previous night talking about football helmets, how expensive they are and what color he would like to wear. I tried to convince him that red was the best (roll tide!) but he is determined that he wants green and wants mama and daddy's helmets to be yellow. I'm not sure his Oregon-State-loving sister is going to be okay with his unknowing support of the Oregon Ducks.
"We have to wait to put the paint on." I told him as we finished adding our last layer of paper mache onto the balloon. I have no idea if this is going to work but we decided to try to make one. He kept asking if we could put it in the plastic bag yet (he saw this step on "How It's Made: Sports) and I had to explain that there were going to be several steps before it was ready for packaging. "First, we have to make it out of paper mache, then we have to cut it into a helmet, then we can paint it, then we have to let it dry again and THEN we can put it in a plastic bag," I explained. "Okay." he said trying not to sound disappointed. He then proceeded to talk about how we were going to play football when all of this is done and reminded me that we also needed to make mama and daddy's helmet and described how we will also need to make a football, and a field, and a field goal. His personality is really showing through these days and my husband and I often look at each other when he is making his plans. "Well, he does have two teachers for parents," we console.
I do sometimes feel that I put my teachers hat on when we are making things together. This is what I love to do. I am art teacher because I love watching students experience the creative process, in all of it's messy glory. One of my goals this year while I take a small step away from the classroom is creating a curriculum that teaches students life skills through design education. I want to instill in students the mindset of a maker. My hope is that students will look at problems as opportunities instead of obstacles. They will be willing to take risks and try out their ideas as they solve these problems. They will have the ability to look at the world as a place where you make what you need instead of just consuming what you want. They will not be afraid to say, "Well, we don't have it? Then let's make it!"
So how could I resist when my three year old said okay when I asked if he wanted to make his helmet instead of buying one? I looked at my son's disgusted face as he dipped his fingers in the bowl of glue. He was not happy the entire time but he sure did put his mind to it and I can see these mindsets developing every step of the way.
"Mama, my helmet's dry!" he said to me as I pried my eyes open this morning. He had run into the mud room, climbed on a stool and pulled it down from it's drying area to check it himself. Like I said, he is one determined little boy, even at 7am.