If you fortunate to be safe at home with your family right now, I encourage you to choose something small (or big!) to celebrate together today. It wasn’t an expected or even easy choice to make, especially while stressed and overwhelmed, but for some reason this idea popped into my brain this morning while drinking my coffee, so I went with it. With just this simple commitment to the idea of celebrating something together, my energy began to move away from the mess (both physical and mental) of our uninvited new routine to the possibilities that could exist within this creative mission and common goal.
Knowing my idea for a reason to celebrate could lean towards my not-so-healthy coping strategy of self-deprecation (I took a shower!), I turned to my kiddo for ideas and asked, “What can we celebrate today?” Kids are great at the moment. As grown-ups we tend to find our brains focused on the deadlines and our feelings focused on the past. I can always rely on my interaction with kids to pull myself back into the present. It’s something I miss most about being in a classroom with toddlers every day. It’s not the easy choice, but I’m committed to giving into these moments more during this time of uncertainty.
So my kiddo’s response, “How about we celebrate that we promised to make breakfast for dinner? Or that we get extra time to snuggle!”
Yup, perfect. Tonight we will make breakfast for dinner and celebrate that along with extra snuggles.
In our little family art is often how we say, “I love you.” Creating together is where we have our best talks, laughter, quiet moments of focus and a lot of feelings. Naturally for us, making something would be a part of our celebration. I remembered these poppers we made a few years ago for New Year’s Eve! They are a fun and function art that you can make pretty quickly with items you likely have at home. I will warn you, things could get messy after they’re done. But if you’re like us, you’re pretty much living in a sea of Lego, art supplies and worn-for-one-minute clothes, so what’s some extra confetti?
Toilet Paper Tube
Decorating Supplies (markers, washi tape, stickers)
First, decorate your cardboard tube! The only art supply I’d steer away from is watercolor paint, as you want the cardboard to stay sturdy. Acrylic or tempera paint will work fine, just let it dry. Today we wrapped ours in pre-painted watercolor paper we happened to have laying around from all our recent art-making!
Then, tie the end of your balloon as you normally would if you were blowing it up. Cut the top of the balloon off, so it has an open end.
Finally use the cut balloon to close off one of the cardboard tube. Make sure it’s pretty tight across the opening. I explained it as a trampoline surface to my kid, which somehow made sense! Tape the seam where the balloon meets the cardboard.
When I drafted this blog earlier I wrote to add confetti (hole punches, strips of cut up paper, leaf clippings, get creative) and pop! Before we could add any of those things, my kiddo promptly declared our popper a launcher for flowers… then leaves… and now Lego people.
There was still some anxiety and there definitely was mess, but I also got to play in the discovery, exploration and creativity that hides within the mess – even if just for a little while.
Here is a video we took a few years ago as a demo for our New Year’s Eve poppers.
What will you celebrate today?