Creative Tinkerer

Cam’s now closer to 5 than 4 (which is CRAZY!) and his natural talents and preferences are starting to shine through.

For one, his creative skills seem to be progressing quickly. He took to coloring and drawing later than I would have expected and later than some of his peers. He would pick up a pen and a coloring book and spend a minute or so on it, then move along.

But of late, he’s been drawing the things in his head, working through the details and sometimes starting over a couple times. He’s also been spending time on coloring projects and it’s been paying off.

Here are a couple samples:

First, his rainbow tree from school today. What I love about it is that he’s filling in the shapes with his own ideas instead of just filling each space with a single color. Plus, it’s so bright and cheery.

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And here are his workout suggestions from this past weekend where he put together an exercise routine for us to try out in the living room. I was impressed by his attention on how to communicate movements.

Cam WOD

We actually did these, by the way, and I was sweating at the end. Side planks, headstands, squats…. and just laying on our backs wiggling our hands and feet in the air.

He is also a tinkerer–for better or worse!

The most time he has ever spent at one activity has been the times when he’s building a structure, or a trap, or a container, or a game board that mimics one of his ipad games. He is laser-focused on finding materials and constructing or recreating the things he’s observed.

How that translates is Cam running through the house with string, boxes, tape, blocks, containers, scissors (yes, running with scissors) in an intense need to do what’s on his mind.

And he’s good at it too.

Examples:

When he wrapped up literally every movable object in his room for Lauren to open for her birthday.

And on Mother’s Day when he abruptly decided he wanted his treasure chest to be suspended above his tree house. He succeeded in executing that idea by running twine around various poles and branches and pulling it tight and tying about 30 knots.

We were all quite impressed by that one.

Even right now, there is a lego cube containing 2 of Demi’s stuffed animals suspended in our orange tree.

When I say “for better or worse” his tinkering and curiosity has gotten him into trouble as well.

Presently, Inny’s candles from her front room are missing. We also narrowly missed an expensive plumbing bill for all the things he stuffed down Brett and Regina’s master bath shower drain. In the past he has also put jewelry and other objects into grandma Monkey’s toilet. Not to mention all the containers of mine he’s repurposed for his projects and the 17 rolls of tape we’ve gone through in the past month.

Ultimately, I’ll take the good with the bad while I marvel at his development and can’t help but think about where his creativity and curiosity will take him.

Imagination

I posted a photo of Cam a little over a year ago where he’s running around in jammies, no pants and wielding a broom. It still makes me smile.

Here’s the 4 year old edition of that photo… Cam rigging up a vehicle out of a laundry basket, twine and found objects, and sitting next to his new favorite doll ‘Shine’. And of course (safety first!), he has a good strong helmet on.

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Who knows what this vehicle will do, but it is evidence of his growing imagination and his natural interest in tinkering. He gets an idea and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop him from doing it.

Cam’s First Free-Hand Drawing

I might be in “way-too-excited” mom mode, but I am sooooooo excited about Cam’s first real free-hand drawing. I am practically tearing up. I’m pretty much ready to send out a press release about my son being the next Picasso.

For the most part, Cam is coloring blobs, starting to stay inside the lines with crayons, and writing just a couple very simple letters. Beyond that Joe and I will see a scribble and blurt what it looks like just to spark imagination. But today is a different story.

I left Cam in my office while I went inside to get Demi dressed. Joe went out to get him and he was busy drawing on my note paper. Joe asked what it was, and Cam said, “a five-legged armadillo.” Unprompted… no suggestions from dad.

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First of all, it kind of looks like a 5-legged armadillo. Secondly, how did he think of that? Aren’t the first basic animals a kid draws more along the lines of cats and dogs and cows and whatnot? And finally, I just love that it has 5 legs.

I was reading an article about things you can do to promote creativity with your kids and one thing was to have the supplies/utensils always available to them. I think the benefits of this outweigh the negatives (walls can be painted, carpets can be replaced, sisters can be washed), so I’m going to set up the station in his room a little better.

Lastly, this is SO going in a frame. I remember when my mom framed my wolf painting. Even though I could only see the faults in it, she loved it so much she wanted it prominently displayed in her office. I get it now. It’s exciting to see your kid create!