Posts Tagged ‘kids crafts’
photo credit: Carol Bond
Last night I dropped our kids off at my parents’ house for a sleepover. Before I even got out the door, they were already busy with a… “Jacob, what are you doing?” “We’re doing a craft with Gammie.” “What is it?” “You put this paper Santa in a dish of water and in 6 hours, it gets all fluffy.” The smile on his and his sister Morgan’s face told the story. They were so excited to ‘do a craft’ with my mom.
Tonight, I interviewed Jacob about encounter with Fluffy Santa: (completely unedited
[me] Jacob, why were you excited to do a craft last night?
[Jacob] I wanted to enjoy doing something with Gammie and Poppie.
Couldn’t you have just watched a video of someone else doing it, instead of waiting all that time to see the results?
Why would anyone want to watch a video when they could actually do it?? I wanted to experience the whole thing.
Why is ‘experiencing’ things important to you?
I enjoy not knowing what’s going to happen–the surprise of discovering new things.
Jacob is one of my mentors. Seriously. Think about it–his grasp of the human experience is so elemental and pure compared to mine. His responses to my questions reveal a profound truth about human nature–that we are designed to learn, grow, believe and flourish primarily by our experiences, secondarily by our knowledge. And, our experiences inform our knowledge, not the other way around. And, true community–relationships with others–forms best through shared experiences.
So, here’s the question I have. What happens between childhood and adulthood that causes us to forget what Jacob so eloquently articulated (and what my parents so thoughtfully demonstrated)? As kids, we reveled in ‘getting our hands dirty’ in everything. We sought and loved new experiences, and basked in the glow of discovering something new. Jacob and Morgan are 8 and 4 respectively–they are true ‘digital natives.’ But even being born into the digital age hasn’t done anything to diminish their natural desire for doing.
Maybe as adults we’ve become jaded. Or perhaps we’re just too busy. When I asked Jacob about watching a video, his head tilted to the side and he said, “Why would anyone want to watch a video when they could actually do it??” As adults, we’re much more likely to say, “Why would anyone want to waste time doing it when they could just watch a video?” Somehow we’ve lost our sense of wonder and enjoyment of not knowing what’s going to happen.
Enlightenment philosophy has convinced us that the pathway to discovery and deeper community is through cognitive process. My eight-year-old son knows better. Friends, we need to do more crafts with each other.