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A surprise art lesson

Welcome 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.


At this time of the year whales are migrating north from Antarctica to Australian waters to breed and can be often seen from the Australian coastline. We were lucky to spot some whales swimming very close to the shore (but not close enough for my camera; you can’t see any whales, but it was a nice view anyway).


Later that week Big Boy (5) taught us a drawing technique he had learned at school.

Drawing of a whale by my 5-year-old

I asked him if it was an Aboriginal technique. He didn’t know. He said they had spent 3 lessons on Aboriginal art at school, but wasn’t sure if this was one of the techniques.

I had a look around the internet. My son’s drawing was similar to some Aboriginal paintings, but not similar enough to say it’s the same technique. Still you have to allow for the artist’s unique interpretation!

I am so intrigued that I’ve started planning a trip to the Australian Museum these school holidays to see the Indigenous Australians Exhibition. I’ve tried to see this exhibition before, but until now my children were not interested and I had to run quickly through it. Maybe now that my son has learned about Aboriginal art at school, the kids will have more patience for it.

It’s fascinating what we learn from and through our children. Aboriginal drawing and painting techniques, who would have thought?

What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve learned from your children?


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.
  • Making Beautiful Things … And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children’s Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children’s artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father’s Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It’s a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with… well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura’s Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • 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.

12 Responses to A surprise art lesson
  1. Abbie @ Farmer's Daugther
    July 10, 2012 | 9:29 pm

    What kind of whales did you guys see? We can sometimes see humpbacks around here (on a whale watch, not usually from shore, since we live on a sound). That’s a really neat drawing and so cool that you guys can go to a museum to check out the art there for more inspiration :)
    Abbie @ Farmer’s Daugther recently posted..Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial

    • mum in search
      July 10, 2012 | 9:36 pm

      I’m guessing they were humpbacks, they are the most common here, too.

  2. Laura
    July 10, 2012 | 9:34 pm

    That is just such a neat photo and drawing! Regardless of how he came to draw his picture… it’s beautiful!

  3. Emily
    July 10, 2012 | 9:44 pm

    I love it. Children will never cease to amaze me with the things they come up with…I don’t think I could put my finger on one unexpected thing my daughter’s taught me!
    Emily recently posted..My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun

  4. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama
    July 10, 2012 | 10:20 pm

    You sound like an unschooler :) I remember having a discussion with my husband when Kieran was 2yrs old and fascinated with dinosaurs, that I learned more about dinos reading with him than I *ever* did in school!
    Dionna @ Code Name: Mama recently posted..I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie book)

    • mum in search
      July 11, 2012 | 9:28 am

      I can’t remember anything I learned at school about dinosaurs, I’ve definitely picked up a lot more knowledge about them after I’ve had kids. Aren’t we lucky to get a second chance to learn all these things?

  5. Lauren @ Hobo Mama
    July 11, 2012 | 4:08 am

    That first photo is gorgeous — I want to join you there!

    What a cool connection to aboriginal art. You just never know what your kids are going to teach you, huh? Mine clued me in to whale sharks.
    Lauren @ Hobo Mama recently posted..July Carnival of Natural Parenting: It’s a trap!

  6. Melissa
    July 11, 2012 | 4:37 am

    Such a cool picture! That would look great in a frame, my mom STILL has one at home from a few of us kids and they are really neat to see. :)

  7. Grace
    July 11, 2012 | 8:52 pm

    What a great drawing! It wouldn’t surprise me if it was based on Aboriginal art. It seems there’s a big emphasis throughout our public school system. Even my boys are learning about aboriginal artwork at their daycare.
    The boys are doing toddler yoga at daycare so I’m learning lots about yoga positions :)
    Grace recently posted..Looking back at June

  8. Andrea @ talesofgoodness
    July 11, 2012 | 10:48 pm

    Oh – how wonderful! I like how you’re taking your son’s lead on learning. BTW, he’s quite an artist. Thanks.

  9. Alinka @ Baby Web
    July 12, 2012 | 2:27 am

    I love your post Tat. It’s so wonderful that our children can be our source of inspiration and often end up teaching us as opposed to us teaching them! :)
    Alinka @ Baby Web recently posted..Baby Hiccups In The Womb

  10. Christine
    July 23, 2012 | 12:14 pm

    Lovely website! There’s so much to explore here (and I notice that your most used tag is grateful :)

    Looking forward to stopping by often!
    Christine recently posted..Why memoirs are so popular

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Hi, I'm Tat. I believe that through motherhood we're given another chance to find ourselves, grow and shine. I have three beautiful children and I learn a lot from them every day. This year I'm searching for ease in everything I do.More about me and my blog »