It’s really hard being a kid these days. There’s so much pressure to achieve-even at Infant School level- it takes a lot of the fun out of childhood. It’s hard not to get caught up in the competitive parenting vibe as well, when the names and telephone numbers of good personal tutors are guarded as fiercely as the family silver, and children are being primed for SATs and the 11+from the age of 7 or even earlier!
One of the things that gets lost in all this jostling for position is an appreciation of the act of creating. It’s not going to get them a high paying job (unless they end up winning the Turner prize or being mentored by a Saatchi) so why bother?
I think it’s important that kids have the opportunity to lose themselves in their art. To have some adult direction, some of the time, but also to have the chance to cut loose and use whatever materials and resources and imagination comes their way. To get gloriously sticky, covered in paint, and glue and glitter, wrapped in wool and bits of material; to sew wonky stitches, knit a hokey scarf that gets wider and wider the longer it grows. Imagine, create, fulfill.
And then we just step in at the end and clear up the mess.
And hose down the children.