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Frozen Color: Creating Art with Kids

"I dreamed about how we could do it," my daughter said, and she meant it very literally, I think. It was before breakfast, she was full of enthusiasm, and she described to me how she wanted to arrange frozen water balloons on the rocks at nearby Reynolds Park.

The frozen color installations have been our winter thing. We started by making a bunch of water balloons with food coloring, then decorated our front yard with the frozen orbs. Considering my advocacy for our neighborhood parks, and a desire to see more public art installations, I started dreaming about other spaces that could use a frozen splash of color.

In part, I wanted to add to the winter palette. I also wanted to put action behind an idea I've be pushing here on the blog: that it is easy to add to the vibrancy, culture, and community with simple creative acts.

And I love creative collaborations with my kids. 

Three years ago, right after my daughter's second birthday, she was painting on her new easel. She painted carefully, experimenting, obviously in the flow of creativity. I watched, took pictures, stayed out of her way. Then she declared with conviction: I love art. I love this art. I love you art.

Later that night, I took out my letter stamps and added her quote to the painting. It was our first collaboration.

A couple weeks ago, at Tenney Park, my kids arranged some frozen color under one of the lagoon bridges. I loved watching them own the project. Again, I stood back and took pictures.

In the weeks since, I've happened on other beautiful frozen color in neighbors' yards. It makes me smile and brightens my day. Maybe you are like me and these little things make all the difference, make this place feel more alive, more friendly, more fun.

Another Madison-based blogger has started a Creativity Club. I'm the joining type, so I said "I'm in" out loud. The monthly creativity challenges are designed for anyone. For me, I'll use them to propel some of my collaborative art escapades around town.

Even if you are not the joining-type, but you want to be more of the doing type, check out the Creativity Club. Meg justifies the push she provides: "The thinking about the thing, the googling the thing, the talking about the thing. Those are not the thing. The doing is the thing. The making is the thing."

The Creativity Club challenge this week, by the way, is to quote yourself and illustrate that quote. It reminded me: I love art. I love this art. I love you art.

Follow along #thecreativityclub and #frozencolor

Check out a very cool past winter installation, as well as one that seems perhaps worth a field trip!

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