A busy, rainy day

by threegirlpileup

It astonishes me sometimes how much we can do when we just don’t try to go anywhere during the day. All the energy that we put into packing lunches and getting dressed (you’ll notice in many of the pictures below that Maggie is in pajamas and Anna–no big surprise–is in nothing at all) and otherwise wrangling ourselves out the door gets redirected into work and play. And some squabbling, of course. But overall, I love a long uninterrupted day at home.

Something that I have been doing off and on for the last few months is trying to set up some sort of activity–usually art–for the girls to find in the mornings when they wake up. Anna finds this especially thrilling; I’ll hear her walk into the dining room and say, “Oh, Mommy, you set up a PROJECT for us!” Of course, some are more successful than others, but they have seemed to serve us well, giving both the girls something to give some focused attention to as we start our day.

The project this morning was string painting, orignially a Mary Ann Kohl project, rendered for me by The Artful Parent. Anna started in right away. One of my favorite things about doing art projects with Anna is that she always has her own way of using and interacting with the materials, usually involving a lot of contact with her body. I’m sometimes reluctant to get the paint out, because she always ends up covered, and today was no exception.

The idea I shared with Anna was to use the string as a paintbrush, or to fold her paper and use the string to spread the paint around. In her first set of paintings, Anna decided to soak the string in the paint and then affix it to the paper, using the drying paint sort of like glue.

And eventually, of course, she had a more full-body experience with the paint…

Maggie joined us a little later, and the two of them worked for quite some time. It was interesting that–unusually for them–they both seemed to focus on single-color paintings with this project. Maggie was also intent on saving her painted yarn for another project.

In the photo above, Anna is rolling a painty string around in her palms. A very Anna approach to this project.

The girls were so prolific, in fact, that I got inspried to hang (finally) a retractable clothesline for drying artwork. The girls loved hanging their pictures as much as they like hanging their clothes, so I think this will be a big hit.

And that was just the first part of the morning! Other highlights of the day included making chocolate-covered frozen bananas (thank you, Pepper Paints!), more gardening (well, digging in the mud) in the rain, soapy muddy potion-making on the deck, an enormous number of temporary tatoos, and doll-clothes sewing. Plus two baths, dinner on the screen porch, and a batch of hot pepper jam. Phew!