I'm a daydreamer. I've always had a habit of getting lost in visualisations of what my future might look like or what I'd like to do with it. One particular daydream I've had for a while now is about motherhood, and what kind of mother I'd like to be.
It's a strange kind of urge. I've read articles that insist it is not a biological phenomenon but a social one. Something that has been deeply ingrained in our subconscious from previous generations. Maybe they are right, maybe not. All I know is that when you get hit with 'baby fever' it is an all-encompassing desire that can send you bat-shit crazy. Suddenly you find yourself lusting after baby-wearing men, observing stroller models and feeling jealous of women in yoga pants heading off to pregalates.
During one my more self-indulgent weeks of feeling like this, I began thinking about how I'd like to engage my future children with lots of creative activities. It includes visions of painting sessions, making decorations at Christmas time, writing hand-made cards and constructing crafty costumes. I highly value creativity. I think that 'creative thinking' is a very important part of raising children to become adaptable problem solvers with open minds. There's an amazing Ted Talk about doing this in schools, which you can watch here.
Something I regularly find myself pinning on my 'Kids' Pinterest board is creative corners for kids. I am interested in how parents have adapted to sharing a living space with children and assigned them a designated area where they are free to come and go as they please, helping themselves to crayons, chalk and paper till their heart's content. Kids are messy- something like this calls for some serious organisation if you want to keep any kind of style in the room!
I spoke with textile designer and architect Martha Mcquade, who snapped this photo (above) of her dining room corner when her two boys were small:
"We have a tiny house and so often the dining room table is used for projects. It was hard to always have to move everything when it was time for dinner so I set up this art area so they could be in the room where we all tended to be but wouldn't have to disrupt the work mid-project. It's pretty small, so larger things still tended to move to the big table, but it helped quite a bit.
Also having materials in sight would inspire them to use them more. There is a magnet board to display drawings and it's low enough that they could finish something and then just hang it up themselves. I am a minimalist and don't like clutter or lots of things on the walls. This corner was also a way to contain all of the "stuff" that kids make and do in a way that works with my style."
Sandra Landy Sauzedde is an illustrator, designer and stylist from France. She has a great DIY tutorial on her blog (see below) that shows you how to make a chalkboard table for your little ones. Check out her idea of cutting out shapes to prompt children to start customising the characters, and the best part is that it can be wiped clean and used time and time again. Her little coloured crochet pencil pots and matching floor protectors are very cute!
And here's some more inspiration for you:
From The Imagination Tree (theimaginationtree.com)
From A Cup of Jo (joannagoddard.blogspot.com.au)
From Childhood 101 (childhood101.com/)
Have you done something similar for your child? Have you seen another great example? Please share with us!