I finally got round to baking some salt dough ornaments (using this recipe) while the kids were asleep the other day. Ollie helped. Well, he played with the salt dough as if it were play dough while I cut out a few ornaments and poked little holes in the top with an icing nozzle, but that was the point. It took a couple of attempts to dry the ornaments out (and the second attempt left them a bit too brown) and we didn't have any cookie cutters that were suitably festive but I thought it wouldn't matter what shape they were once covered in red paint and glitter. And they ended up being a bit lumpy but I suspect this won't be the last time I do this, so there's plenty of time for technique improvement. (Especially if I want them to look like these or these!)
So, last Sunday, after spending the morning with The Wiggles (which was a hit, by the way, and I should think Ollie was the only child there who didn't know who The Wiggles are), I got the paint, glitter and brushes out and ready while the boys were asleep and an afternoon of painting and glittering followed. I was really keen to do this type of activity with Ollie; I want him to be a part of making something that he can gift so that he can begin to understand the importance of doing good things for others and what it feels like to put your heart into the process. And even if he doesn't understand, just doing it makes me feel good, and his involvement is a reminder of how these little things that we do with the kids are so rewarding. Anyway, at the very least, Ollie was captivated for a good hour or so by splodging paint (he asked for the green) sprinkling glitter, then collecting it back up and putting it back in the impossibly small container it came in. It's a start.
And now we have a dozen festive and sparkly tree ornaments. They won't pass any tests for being fancy, but I think they look great, and they twinkle just lovely against the fairy lights on our tree. They're going to make a great gift for his grandmother, day carer Sue and for us, his mama and papa, who end each day exhausted, recounting little stories of what the boys did and said that made us laugh, cry, tear our hair out and burst with pride, sometimes all at the same time.