I was perusing my friend Jenny's blog, when I noticed a collage project she had completed with her daughter. The work area set with some full sheets of paper, scraps of material or paper, and a bottle of glue, she let her toddler loose to create in any way she pleased.
I'm not going to lie, we hadn't tried glue yet because, frankly, I was off to invest in a mound of wet wipes just thinking about it (and I'm the sort of parent who usually forgets to pack the wet wipes, doesn't carry hand-sanitizer, and believes strongly in the 5-second rule). My child isn't one to use just a dab of glue per piece. She, ahem, has her own style. But after some encouragement from my friend, who told me about the Ooey Gooey Lady, who focuses on learning through play (which is about the only kind of learning that stuck with me) and encourages glue bottle squeezing for the development of fine motor skills, I was off to the school supply aisle to give this a shot.
And, the project was a success (even if I did start muttering the mantra "fine motor skills, fine motor skills" halfway through). Audrey loved it and was fully engaged until we had to stop. I couldn't help but be really intrigued by the art she created when left to her own discretion. I didn't expect the layering of felt and paper that she seemed to favor. The mounds of glue, well, that I expected.
Her art complete, I whisked it outside to dry, using large rocks or planters to hold the papers down. That still-fresh glue resting on those papers was too enticing to keep close by. But she wanted to check on their progress all day. I see more of these projects in our future. Now I just need to get a picnic table, and make an artist's smock - definitely an artist's smock.