In the Playful Learning class I took with Mariah Bruehl last fall, we discussed how you can deliver “invitations” to your kids to pique their curiousities. Mariah shared a photo of one “invitation” she left for her children on her countertop one morning: a shiny, stainless steel juicer, fresh oranges and a gorgeous juicing instruction book. Her girls “found” her irresistable invitation, and wouldn’t you know it? Fresh squeezed OJ.
I love the simple subtlety of the “invitation” idea. It helps me remember that you don’t have to hit your kids over the head every time you introduce a new project (Guess what we’re going to do today, kids? Make orange juice!”). Let them think it was their idea. No harm done. And guess how BRILLIANT you feel when your kids answer the invitation and do the activity you intended, without you saying a single word?! And how PROUD you feel when they take the project you left and add a twist to it that you never even thought of?
I ripped this picture out of a Home Improvement newspaper during our post-Halloween 10 day blackout.
On day 8 of the blackout, when we just might have been driving my parents a tad crazy with our very long invasion of their apartment, I left the picture out for my sons to find, right alongside Papa’s 1,000 piece tool set. Ryan found it and went to work quickly, first imitating exactly what he saw in the photograph, tool for tool, plier for plier, with slight substitutions on the roofline (no paintbrushes handy or that other thingie).
Then he made “Nana.”
Then, “Nana Playing Tennis.”
Leave an invitation today and let me know how it goes. I’ve pinned a few ideas to get you going.
I bet it works on spouses too…maybe even as a new approach to Love U Madly’s nagging reduction efforts.