Friday, February 27, 2009

ATC Kids Swap

Impulsively, I signed Mr. Tenzrelli up for the ATC Kids Swap, thinking it would be fun for him to send and receive mail. Of course, not 3 days after signing up, we got a sticker club chain letter from my cousin's daughter. So it is the month of mail (late winter needs that kind of pick me up, doesn't it?)

I think when I signed T up, I was thinking of myself as a 5 year old. My mom tells me if she needed some time, she would simply lay down a stack of scrap paper and some crayons, and I would sit and color until the paper was used up. I still get a shiver of excitement over fresh art supplies nd a stack of paper! Tenzarelli... not so much. 3-D art is his thing. Give the boy some cardboard, scissors and a roll of tape and he will build you something. Legos are his life. Painting he enjoys in smaller time blocks and drawing almost only under coersion.

Naturally, painting was the medium of choice for this project (ATC sculpture sounds much more difficult to mail!) He eagerly began the first one (the rainbow) and then declared he was "done". I pleaded with him to make more, and he said "tomorrow". So easily I forget that words are empty to a 5 year old. Setting the example is key, for imitation is their work, their art.

So, I put Jampaloo on the floor with his basket of silks and toys and painted quietly on some extra pieces of trading-card-cut-paper (how long will I have to be a mother before I will get this? this is what to do! PAINT! Not plead with him to paint!) Within minutes, Tenzarelli had left his legos and rejoined me at the table, and began painting away. My favorite is the cowboy (bottom right corner - very impressionist - no?)

These five little trading cards are sealed and stamped and off to his swap partners. We had fun looking at the names and places they would go to, and trying to choose which painting would go to who. The cowboy went to a little girl from Texas whose card we already recieved with a bonus - stickers celebrating her state. A child in Austria, Tenzarelli determined, was most suited for the rainbow painting.

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