Summer is the perfect time to let your family’s creativity flow! And what better way to teach your children or grandchildren about a new hobby, skill or project than to work along side them?
Artist Judith Reye creates “dreamscapes for children,” paintings with an innocence that leaves room for children’s imaginations. Judith is inspired in her artwork and her life by her two granddaughters Kyrsten (2) and Caden (5).
During their visit this summer Caden asked Judith’s husband Rawlen (grandpa) if he would build her a castle. And he did. BUT…he didn’t just build her a castle. He invited his granddaughters to help him create a simple, fun structure from some items found in the garage. Building and working together is the best way to model learning something new, patience and perseverance. And learning how to properly use tools is a good skill for every child, even princesses!
The key to successfully working with your children is to think age appropriate. Little people are great painters – when they are a little older they can help with hammering. With the right supervision and safety gear a grade school age child could even lend a hand with the fancy scroll saw work that adds detail to this castle’s doors and windows.
Using recycled materials like the foam re-imagined into turrets is another great lesson!
Let your child do the interior decorating too! Folding camping chairs are perfect, they can be stored in the garage when the grandchildren are not visiting or the weather keeps you inside. Playhouses don’t have to be forever. Why install an expensive kitchen unit when a picnic will do?
And honestly, your child’s imagination will add all of the details that any expensive playhouse could provide. And isn’t stretching the imagination better than stretching your wallet? Children outgrow play items so fast that it’s preferable to build something like this castle which creates memories, is fun for one maybe two summers and then can be re-created into something else.
Don’t forget to teach your kid’s about cleaning up as part of the process. It’s important that they are involved from beginning to end.
Don’t want to tackle something quite as large as a playhouse? Think smaller, like these other projects that Grandpa has created with and for the girls.
Judith says “…my husband is always creating something for the girls…while visiting in Kansas he made them a castle for their princess dolls (small ones) out of a shoebox, with a tower and 2nd level and a draw bridge…he is creative that way…I am sure if the kiddos lived closer he would be continually creating….last night he put swings in the tree in the front yard close to the ground for them to reach and we pushed them on swings until they were ready for bed.”
Those are the kinds of memories that are going to bring a lifetime of sweet dreams about grandpa and summer!