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A Lesson in Perspective

January 29, 2013 - Jen Zbozny
How do you entertain a kid who has flu? Even when they're ill, they still get stir crazy. The challenge for parents with sick little ones is low-key activities that have some sense of novelty. The novelty factor can bring your listless little lump some happiness. That will make you happy too. It's a fine line though, because we don't want to teach kids that being sick is the best time ever and involves presents and privileges that they wouldn't otherwise get.

I have explained it this way to Eve. When you're sick, there are all sorts of things you can't do, like play with your friends or go to the park and run around. You also have to do some not so pleasant things like take medicine that sometimes tastes awful, and maybe go to the doctor too. Because of that, sometimes when you're sick, you get to do some out of the ordinary things.

Eve has a short tolerance for the tv, and that's a good thing, and we have lots of board games. My tolerance for endless rounds of the same board game is waning. Here is an activity that worked for both of us and provided some really nice results too.

We decided to make pictures of the same subject. Sounds easy, right? Here's the twist. We decided together what to draw. Then we made our pictures separately. We asked clarifying questions along the way and added details as we went. When we finished, we revealed them to each other. They were surprisingly different and, like children and snowflakes, their differences make all the difference.

More specifics? Eve and I used paint and tiny framed canvases. We have found them at local craft stores for about a dollar. The canvas and frame makes Eve feel like a serious artist. They also make the finished product ready to hang up on the wall.

Our subject? A bunny in her garden. Along the way, we agreed the garden needed to have carrots, radishes, bushes, and spinach. We also agreed the bunny would be brown and we needed to have clouds.

It took some time to work these things out. That was great since I needed to cook some food and do some laundry. While Eve drew in pencil on her canvas (to work out her sketch prior to painting) I got work done. I did not peek.

Then I sat and did mine. They turned out fantastic and it is is already a wildly popular idea with her. I know this because my little lump woke up this morning saying, "Mama, can we paint the same thing but different again today."

This idea may need some tweaking to suit your little one's interest and abilities but I'm sure it will amuse. Also, if you want to add extra audience members, put some peanuts or crackers on the low outside window ledge near where your kids are sitting. Wait for a squirrelor a bold little bird to come and give his two cents. It worked for us!

Check out the pictures of our artwork ar right!


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Bunny in the Garden by Eve