Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Knight in Shining Horror

I, for one, am mostly glad the holidays are over. As convenient as it is to have such a monumental theme around which to design a multitude of craft activities, it can get a bit overwhelming. It's nice to have a clear calendar in front of us to start thinking of other crafty and educational ways to pass the days with the kids.

But, based on the end results of our first official post-holiday day, I'm either rusty, or really overcompensating.

The day started out great. First Sundays of the month are pay-what-you-wish at the Philadelphia Museum of Art--in other words, our family can actually afford to go there 12 days of the year. Spending a morning at an art museum is probably educational and wholesome enough. I should have stopped there. Instead, I kicked it into over-achiever mode and tried to force a little extra learning down my kids' throats.

Actually, they were really into sketching at the museum. I just suggested bringing the notebook. It was Fifi who asked me for it several times throughout the day.

They were also entirely excited to look at the armor. It was when I suggested we make our own armor, that I probably went too far.

Armor had been on our minds lately. Fifi and I had just been reading Shrek by William Steig, and we all sat down for another reading of Peasant Pig and the Terrible Dragon by Richard Scarry in the afternoon. The latter book especially is heavy on knights and armor. So it just seemed logical that my kids would want helmets of their own. Right? I mean, who wouldn't want a faux metal helmet from which you could barely see or breathe or exist at all comfortably?

It turns out, in case you're wondering, that fake armored helmets are not all that easy to make. And Fifi (who chose to skip a nap today despite my prodding and pleading) was not too keen on the dozen or so fittings I requested of her. I wouldn't take her subtle hints however, and instead exhausted myself trying to coax or trick her into putting on the poster board-and-staples hat just one more time. I then thought--in my still zealous belief that all children should be given the chance to don chain-mail and other protective accessories--that the kids would really enjoy encasing the helmet in aluminum foil themselves. But alas, aluminum foil is not all that easy to work with. And yours truly was left making the entire things myself.

All told, the parent-labor to child-enjoyment ratio was painfully unbalanced. The preparation to play ratio also resembled a half-loaded see-saw. Seeing Vance peek his little head out from under the pivoting face-cover? Yeah, that was pretty cute. But possibly not cute enough to counterbalance how creepy he was peering out through eye slits.

1 comment:

  1. I have often thought about bringing a sketch pad to the museum with me and my five yr old son, but I wondered if he would really be into it. I think I might try it next time-thanks!