Santa was good to us this year. We had so much fun opening and playing with presents, sipping wassail, going to the church Christmas program, getting a visit from Grandma B, and did I mention playing with presents?
The big item under the tree this year was the Little Partners tri-side art center. Holy cow, this thing is a beast. It is so sturdy, and has everything you can think of on it. Felt board, chalkboard, and a magnetic dry erase with paper attachment that cascades down it for additional coloring and painting. Each side has a tray for the associated supplies. There is even a place for a storage basket below.
I heard my sister [mom of 3] say, “If there is not enough for everyone, I just don’t get it out anymore. It’s not worth the tears.” As a mom of two now, I understand. If it is reasonable, I get two of everything that I buy so that I don’t have to break up a fight and take it away. What was really fun and refreshing about this [one] art center [with two kids] is that everyone can play at the same time. We can practice taking turns, a little game of rotation if you will. Clearly, for a kid, it is much easier to wait for the felt board if you have a chalkboard to keep you busy.
My daughter learned how to write letters when she was 3 because of our previous A-frame chalkboard. We could always find her trying to write out words, and she finally got it! She can write out just about anything if you help her spell it. I am excited to watch what this little creation station does for the kids. I can already see their wheels turning.
My husbands boss told us how great [developmentally] it is for a child to have a big blank canvas and paint. I am no research scientist, but they sure do love it and I love seeing the growth from the art they create.
One of the funnest things that we did on Christmas was make our own felt shapes for the felt board. My daughter has been a little obsessed with Trolls since she saw it in theaters with her cousins. so we made trolls with the leftover felt that I had from making Christmas garland for our Felt Tree. That made her day. We made them a little house, a sun, clouds, a Santa and a cow. It was as much fun for me cutting out shapes as it was for her to put them together on the felt board. Tonight in the car, she asked me if I could make a mermaid, so that will be our next cutout creations.
Interesting side note: My sister who studied Psychology told me once, that when you help your kids with art, don’t do it perfectly. If you set the standard too high, they can get a little insecure about their own art. They will just want you to do it for them when you make it perfectly every time. Let them be creative and do it by themselves. We sing the song from Daniel Tiger, “Just Keep Trying” whenever they get discouraged about their art, letter-writing, shoe-tying or whatever the moment of learning is about. Does anyone else use Daniel Tiger Theme Songs to help you children deal with new emotions? It works like a dream for us. The Mr. Rogers Foundation is a genius.
Thank you for sponsoring this fun gift Little Partners!