January 11, 2012

the fun in failure

We had a great project idea today--we were going to make stamps out of stuff we had lying around the house!  Maybe even use the stamps to make Valentines.  I couldn't argue with my boys' enthusiasm, so we got started right away, gathering up the materials: glue, scissors, some pipe cleaners, cardboard from the recycling, a stamp pad, card stock in a few colors.  Our thought was that we could create shapes out of the pipe cleaners, glue them to the cardboard, and then stamp to our heart's content.  We whipped up a few different shapes and waited for the glue to dry.

Then, we stamped.

Underwhelmed?  So were we.  And we got some glue on the stamp pad.  But here's the thing--we didn't throw in the towel.  We started trying some different things, and it turned out that our "stamps" served very nicely for crayon rubbings.  And then we discovered that lots of things were nice for crayon rubbings, like the miniature pie tin from the play kitchen and the surface of our work stools.  Card stock wasn't looking so hot, so we switched to regular weight paper.  That was better.  My older son thought it would be even better if we used the special-edge scissors to cut the rubbings out, and we glued those onto the card stock.

It wasn't what we planned, but it sure was fun, and the boys were using so many skills--problem solving, collaboration, brainstorming.  All in all, our big fat failure turned into quite a successful afternoon.  I think there's a lesson in that, don't you?

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