It's so fun to have the kids at these ages, because they don't have a huge memory for most things. Therefore, remembering, myself, how delighted and surprised they were to see the huge balloons in the Macy's parade on TV last Thanksgiving, I had my camera ready to catch the new delight and surprise on their faces when they saw the balloons this year.
They didn't really recognize any of the characters that the balloons were supposed to be ("CheeseBob!!!" shouted Willow, when the Spongebob Squarepants balloon came around a corner), but just the concept of HUGE BALLOON is apparently enough to thrill a kid.
Of course, in other ways it wasn't a typical Thanksgiving at all. For instance, our nice big library table, instead of being set for the traditional meal, spent the day looking like this:
All the better to spend the day making Christmas cards with, my dears.
It's been fun to try out several new and different card-making strategies with the girls this month. Some--the window card in which they create their own cut-outs, the window card in which they paint one panel with watercolor paints so that it can show through the window--are complete failures. Others, such as this window card that uses strips of wallpaper in a behind-the window collage, worked great for the five-year-old, the three-year-old, and the 33-year-old.
When the girls do art, of course I like to keep the level of instruction as minimal as possible and just let them go to town with whatever art materials they've got (while keeping intact the rules about not contaminating the paint jars with other colors, not marking on someone else's work, etc.). Even when we do something like this, which is really more of a "craft," I still like to keep the number of instructions and step-by-step directions and parent work down as far as possible. I don't like children's work that is too crafty or obviously parent-directed--there aren't just a lot of ways to make a Santa out of an upside-down white handprint and some red construction paper and googly eyes, ya know?--but I also would like the children to send some Christmas cards that can be recognized as Christmas cards by anyone, not just her parent who can interpret the scenario under which the smear of orange tempera on a playing card was created.
--and a judicious amount of white glue.
And then, once we've got a few of these under our belts (two for Will and one for Syd is about the limit), plenty of time to make even more cards out of leftover wallpaper scraps, pink cardstock, the hole punch, and an extremely generous amount of white glue to hold it all together.