Rarely a day passes at our house that we don't make a glorious mess of one kind or another, creating. The kids and I sit together at our dining room table, mountains of wool felt, embroidery floss, and wood turnings before us.
Monday was a gnome and fairy kind of day.
The process was simple. In fact Sage created his little gnome with almost no assistance. Lupine called out the requirements of her fairy, helped me cut and sew, and fashioned her own wings.
Usually these projects are about the process, not the end product that we create. Often what we make is soon set aside or becomes a decoration in the children's rooms or a gift for a friend. But this craft it was different. The little companions we made have been in constant use since their "birth" – even carried along on errands and trips and tucked in to bed on the children's night stands.
Indeed, the magic really happened after the work of making the wee friends was finished – when the play began.
More wooden bits were brought out to be bread, plates, crystals, chairs, tables, root beer barrels, butter churns, and honey pots. Bits of silk, fabric and leather created beds, blankets, the land and the sea. They played and played for hours together and alone, creating their magical world. And the fairy house I shared with you last week has been in nearly constant play.
The children write their story throught this play. Sage's little red gnome has a need to appear smart, clever, and funny. He is an inventor gnome, creating flying machines and demonstrating his skills to the other magic folk. He is hoping they will be impressed by his wisdom.
Lupine's fairy is a caretaker for an injured friend, keeping watch and comforting her in her pain. She wants to be in her "fancy dress" and likes to dance.
Yes, they write their storys and act out their inner gnome (or fairy) through this simple, undirected play.