Z and Nilo spent almost two hours building and playing at Golden Gardens. The water bubbles up from an underground stream and makes a cold journey back to Puget Sound. The boys worked together to move rocks to create dams and islands, and they were fascinated with the bubbles of sand and water coming from the bottom of the pool.

After dinner, Z played with his new set of real tools. We talked about how we trust him to use them mindfully so that he can actually build things instead of pretending to work with plastic tools. He used his pliers and hammer to strip bark from branches, then decided to make some art.
After using his new markers to draw the Misty Mountains, he used his dot sponges and was so proud of himself for figuring out how the ink flows through the sponges. (“I’m teaching myself how they work, mom.”) After that, it was on to tempera paint and fingerpaints. He even helped to wash the brushes and put paint away before snack and stories.
I worked making the wall pockets from Amanda Soule’s amazing new book, the Creative Home, taking breaks to open paint jars and talk with Z while he delved into his color exploration in the studio with me. This was one of the first times that Z was happy just focusing on the process of art and creating without letting his perfectionism take over, which results in his frustration because his product doesn’t look like the creation in his mind and his asking us to make what he’s looking for. I’ve been talking a lot to him about how creating art is often about the process and not the end result and it was so amazing to see that idea at work. It was the type of flow and togetherness while we make and do and be that I’m hoping we capture in moments every day.