Taratories Blog

"Stacking" with Cardboard

This week in my homeschool art class we are studying the artist Grandma Moses.  I love that she started painting at the age of 78.  It's never too late to start painting!  Her primitive folk paintings were done on cardboard and she painted rural scenes from her memories of her life growing up.  I decided to let the students paint their own winter landscape in Grandma Moses style and I thought it would be cool to let them paint them on cardboard just as she did herself.

I picked up some large pieces of cardboard from our local Pier One (tip: when shipping large pictures in the mail they are the perfect place to get boxes from).  I had to cut 16 pieces out of the cardboard with a knife for my two classes before I primed each one of them to get them ready to be painted on.  

As I was cutting the cardboard, I thought my son Sawyer would enjoy using the leftovers as a play house to cure his cabin fever.  I strategically cut the rectangles out where I thought he would enjoy having some windows, etc.

Of course he wanted to paint his house with his favorite color as I was continuing to cut out cardboard.

My good friend, Megan, once shared a story with me about a time when she was making guacamole in the kitchen while her kids were playing outside in the beautiful sunshine.  Instead of working alone while her kids fended for themselves, she decided to take the guacamole outside and work on it on their picnic table.  In no time she had her kids and neighbor kids surrounding her at the table chopping and dicing and mixing as they helped her make the guacamole.  Not only were the kids learning how to make some delicious food, they were spending time with their mom, learning how to measure ingredients using math, and also exposing their neighbor friends to something that they had never experienced before.  Megan was able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, be with her children, and educate them at the same time all the while reaching out to some neighbors.  She explained to me that this was her idea of "stacking" in life.  Instead of doing one task at a time, stacking one task on top of another experience, on top of another mission, etc. to create margins elsewhere.

Cutting cardboard this week ended up to be a "stacking" experience.  Instead of fending off my son to stay away from the knife and shooing him into the next room to fend for himself,  I was able to enjoy watching my son get creative and have fun with his imagination, let him experience something he had never experienced before, recycle scraps into a play toy, and accomplish a task that I needed to get done for my art class.  With long "to do" lists and little margins in life, its great to "stack" things and make more time for hanging out with your kids in cardboard houses!