Family MemoriesWelcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


We prepared for this past weekend all week long.  I took Friday off to open up the old beach camp so that we could just settle into the weeked with no work to do.  Just relax and spend time with each other.  I scrubbed and buffed all day on Friday (with a little help from my mom).  Everything was as it should be.  Relaxation was soon upon us.  Just one little thing to consider – this blog carnival.

I first participated in this carival last month and I adored some of the fellow mommy bloggers I met.  I definitely wanted to participate this month, but how was I going to fit creating a grand masterprice into my “weekend at the beach” plan?  After a long internal struggle, I resolved myself to just let go.  To not force it.  To let it ride and see what my kiddos might lead us towards.  I’d spent all week making space for this weekend and now was the time to just let it unfold – grand project or not.

What arose was one of the most creative weekends we’ve ever had.  Of course, there was no focused “grand creation” from my 1 and 4 year olds, but rather a series of “little creations” – each one a separate delight for the little ones.  Because when left the space and freedom they need, kids just create.  They can’t help it.

Here’s a sampling of our memories…

Campfire PitA new campfire pit.  From the time we arrived, my daughter never stopped talking about smores.  This led to discussions of a fire and, ultimately, where we might have this fire.  She picked a spot and we discussed building materials.  With some help from “dino” (a toy we found on the beach from previous years), we then diligently stacked stones for some time to construct our new “smore cooker”.

Paper instruments and “treehouses”.  One afternoon while the baby and I were napping, my daughter had a hankering to make musical instruments.  She and Carl filled plates and cups with various things they scavenged – old bread tags, spices, etc – and then duct taped them together.  They then painted and – voila – a bunch of colorful instruments.  Some of the paper cup instruments also morphed into “treehouses” by cutting holes into them where (presumably) animals could creep.

Impomptu PlaygroundAn outdoor jungle gym.  Courtesy of the rope hanging from a tree in the vacant lot next door.  My kids imagined this into a playground and frequently asked “to go back to the playground”.

A new recipe for macaroni and cheese.  One afternoon I was making macaroni and cheese and my daughter wanted to add everything in the fridge to it.  For once, I let her, and it was actually delicious.  Among the things we added: leftover veggie dogs, extra milk, broccoli and chicken.  My son gave it the official “mmmmm-mmmmmm”.

Pirate's FateA pirate’s fate.  The kids repeatedly “walked the plank” one night while holding onto our hands.  Over and over and over again.  This touched me because it’s not often both Carl and I have the time to just play like this – no rush whatsoever – nowhere to be.  Very refreshing.

A very thorough pinecone collection.  Of course, it didn’t just contain pinecones, but all manner of cones, acorns, bark and leaves collected during our evening walks.  It’s now in secret hiding spot under the deck.  Who knows what treasures will be added next trip.

Canada Day Rock MuralA “Canada Day” rock mural.  Complete with little footprints to commemorate the occasion.  I did the flag and the kids did the rest.  Of course, there was more paint on the bodies than the rocks in the end, but that’s all part of it.  (The paints were tempera, but part of me hopes this will never come off.)

So, we have no grand creation to offer – just a number of small tokens.  But the grandeur is still there in the hearts and minds of our little ones.  I’m grateful that we could give them this weekend of space, time and undivided attention.  Our real family creation this weekend is simply this – MEMORIES.  Wonderful memories.

Little FootprintsEven now as I type this, my daughter is cutting things out of paper.  I just asked her what her latest creation was and she said “It’s an oarfish.”  And now the oarfish has become a castle that she is shaping and taping together.  And now “I made this for you for Valentine’s Day.  You can use it like a necklace if you want.  Ooh mommy I’m going to wrap it up because it’s a surprise.  Do you know what it is?”

(And here’s one more of my kids footprints leading up to the camp – bath time!)


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children of all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don’t always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking… Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen‘s family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she’s sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.


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About the Author

Just a small town mom trying to make the world a better place for my kids. One small change at a time.

11 Responses to Creating Memories

  1. I think the every day small creations are often more important than any one big one. It sounds like you had a fantastic time as a family – I love that your post was on creating memories :)

  2. I love your post. I think it is often easy to get caught up in material objects by making gifts when what we should always remember is that it is what we don’t see – the love, the memories, the respect – that really matters. I know I want my children to have great memories to look back on.

  3. I love this! The little creations are just perfect, aren’t they? I love that your weekend unfolded so beautifully, and that your kids and you found so many ways to be creative and play.

  4. Gretchen says:

    I love that you just let loose and embraced the creativity that came! Enhanced mac ‘n cheese is one of my favorites :)

  5. I love the way you’ve captured those small moments – the ones that so easily slip away. Sounds like it was a wonderful weekend!

  6. Amy Willa says:

    What lovely creative memories! I love the tempura paint on the rocks. Maybe I’ll let the kiddos paint our garden dividers this week. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. You have really re-defined the phrase capturing the moment. I like the fact that you enjoy every moment of your life and it is a good thing that your kids are also learning the same values.

  8. Tat says:

    Love your creations, all of them. It’s only adults that worry about grand creations, kids are constantly creating something without even thinking about it!

  9. I Like the paintings on the rocks, it reminds me of the Berlin Wall and all the beautiful drawings on it.

  10. This is so great! I love the new recipe for mac and cheese, lol :)

  11. Tamara says:

    I love camping! I used to with my mom when I was little and I loved it all so much. We haven’t taken our girls yet ourselves, but maybe next year. Thank you for sharing.

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