Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Styles of Love

I love the prospect of scouting thrift stores and after-holiday sales for creative craft activities to share with the kids.  So I knew I had found a bargain when a recent shopping venture offered up two identical 99-cent kits for making a nifty little Valentine's Day doorknob hanger.

I use the word "kits" in the most basic sense of the word.  Each packet contained a 3- x 5-inch foam placard fitted with a yarn string and accompanied by a sheet of stickers.  This past weekend, I gave the kits to Sooby and Pooh, giving them free reign over how their finished products would take shape.

The results surprised me, although they shouldn't have.  I know the kids differ greatly in personality and attention span, in their interest in visual art, their meticulousness, and their sense of aesthetics.  Nowhere are those differences more obvious than in the style used by each child to place his or her stickers on the door hangers.

Shown first below, Sooby's project reflects a meticulous precision and symmetry.  She worked patiently and diligently over ten minutes to assess her choices and place her stickers painstakingly.  She used the word "LOVE" as the central focus of her design and placed the "Happy Valentine's Day" sticker at the bottom, like a caption.  Here is the result of her effort:

Pooh, on the other hand, approached the task with an eye toward the finish line.  His stickers went on in a hurry, with his whole effort clocking in at about three minutes.  His sticker placement is random, with some of the pieces, even those with letters, upside down.  While Sooby's style mirrors the classical, Pooh's is clearly more avant-garde.  Strangely enough, one of his ladybugs is mounted with the sticky side up, hence the white blob you see in the picture below:

I thoroughly enjoyed watching as these two very different art pieces evolved in a way reflecting each child's idiosyncrasies.  Both, however, are beautiful in their own way, as are the children who designed them. 

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.  May you spend precious time with someone you love, and may you celebrate that love in a way that celebrates its wonder and its uniqueness.


  1. This is so sweet! My favorite part is the upside down ladybug!
    I have observed this behavior myself at home - 4 year old boys vs a 2 year old girl who, like Sooby, takes her time to arrange and place with accurate care. On a Halloween project, one of the boys added a random little wad of toilet paper to his collage! We never really got an explanation for that!

  2. I think they are both artists! I bet they just had a blast. There is something about stickers that really attracts children. Amara loves putting them all over the envelopes of the letters she writes. Such fun!

  3. Looks as if you have a planner and a free spirit, and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Of course, they are still young enough that their personalities may totally switch. But I doubt it.