Around Christmastime we made an IKEA run and, per our usual, came home with a unique smattering of items: festive chair cushions, drawers for under Beany’s bed, a few packs of batteries and a gigantic roll of paper designed for an easel we still don’t own. The cushions were fun through the holidays, the drawers are great toy storage and the batteries are still kicking, but let me tell you what: Never has there been a greater IKEA purchase than that oversized roll of paper. Seriously, it’s about the best $4.99 we ever spent.
If you have a kid who’s even remotely into drawing or crafts, I’d grab a roll of this stuff pronto. There’s something about having so much free space to create that makes Beany love coloring even more than usual, and it takes very little direction from me to get her imagination running wild. Earlier this week, on another still-doesn’t-feel-like-spring-outside day, I asked her if she wanted to draw some flowers on her paper so it would feel a little springy inside.
“I have a great idea, Mommy!” she said. “Let’s make a garden! With flowers and apples and carrots and more carrots! Because carrots are my favorite!”
One giant sheet of paper and some crayon collaboration later, and here’s what we came up with.
Beany carefully selected all of the plants for our indoor garden (“Let’s Google purple flowers on your computer, Mommy! Let’s Google strawberry trees!”), and we colored together until she decided the planting was done. Of course, then it had to be hung on the wall, and she ran to get her pink boots so she’d “look just like a grownup gardener.” We’re talking hours of creative play from nothing more than paper and crayons.
She’s still taking the gardening gig pretty seriously and watered her plants again just this morning. And she always grabs a carrot or two to pretend snack on as she walks by. It’s a happy, colorful reminder of how magical simple play can be. This is the stuff that childhood is made of.