The social and political climate in our country over the past few months has been...a little crazy. Of course this isn't a political post, and my contention has always been that you can and should vote for whomever you think is the best choice.
That, however, doesn't dismiss the fact that it's been contentious and it feels like we as a nation are more divided than ever.
But I realized, amidst everything going on, my home doesn't have to feel divided and I don't have to let it color any of the interactions in my family. So I thought I would do an awesome craft with my kids to help promote teamwork, love, and toss in a little social solidarity that serves as the framework of my beliefs.
Yep - I did a rainbow craft with my kids. Here's how and why...
First off - rainbows are beautiful. They are the tangible vision of just all the right amount of ingredients for it's essence to exist. The right light, the right amount of precipitation in the air, the right angle from which one has to look, and it all happens in a special, fragile, snapshot in time. Everything right - all at once.
Yes, that's a little pie-in-the-sky for a three year old to understand, never-mind a one year old. But, what they can understand is that rainbows are unique to certain circumstances and they are indicative of a certain oneness of all things.
Rainbows are inherently good, and we should strive to be inherently good as well.
Of course, the rainbow flag is a commonly used symbol for the LGBT community, and I am one hundred percent in favor of equality for all Americans. I was always of the opinion, whether there is more love in this world, if it's between two men, two women, or a man and a women, we need it all.
The more love, the better.
Regardless of all the meta commentary I put on the craft for myself, I thought my kids would enjoy creating something TOGETHER. Sure, I had to scrounge up some contact paper and cut out all the little hearts, and yes, our toddler lass did her absolute best to make it as messy as possible, but as you can see from the video, they had a great time creating the rainbow.
This craft is more likely to be better served as a Valentine's Day activity - but I thought, "what the heck - maybe we should celebrate the idea of 'love' a little sooner this year." So my preschooler and my toddler worked together to create something beautiful of their own (and with a little help from me too.)
Materials Needed:Clear Contact Paper (sticky on one side, like you'd use to laminate a book)
Rainbow colored construction paper
Crayons or markers in rainbow color
Heart Paper Punch (or cut out hearts by hand - this just makes the process go by super quickly!)
1. Cut out a lot of rainbow colored hearts. (Tip: Make sure there are a lot of red orange and yellow, since you'll need more!)
2. Hang up contact paper by using tape or some other sticking substance to your wall of choice. Keep the sticky side of the paper facing OUT. Peel the protective layer off the contact paper.
3. Draw a rainbow outline with your crayons or markers.
4. Demonstrate for the children how to match a red heart and place it on the red line, and so on.
Our 1.5 year old little lass doesn't know her colors very well yet, and sometimes would place the hearts on the wrong colored line. It was fine, and actually quite cute. My preschooler would go back and fix it with my help.
I loved watching them work together, and another great perk about this craft is that it really works on their fine motor skills - picking up the small pieces of paper.
So that's how we made our own little perfect moment in time. All the ingredients - love, time, teamwork and patience, all coming together at just the right instant. My children may not understand what's happening in the world around us at this juncture - but they can feel the benefits of family and compassion in our home.
Maybe we all need a little bit more time with rainbows to see that....
Do you have any easy crafts that you like to do with little ones?
If so, I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.
Talk soon, friends!