As a mother of a 5 year old daughter I have been made aware of the overwhelming amount of "Princess" merchandise that is out in the market targeting young girls. Though I understand that the "princess" themed merchandise appeals to the inner nobility and queen-like nature of our little girls, I do believe that it is a limiting concept and misrepresentation of all the wonderful things that our children are. For those who are of Native American/Indigenous backgrounds, the effects of these mainstream images and concepts are even more complex. Aware of these issues, I have decided that I want my child to enjoy her youth but to also learn how to exercise her mind, spark her curiosity and to seek possibilities of progress and creation while honoring our culture.
Here is a small home project we did together to expand the possibilities of a toy she was gifted at her preschool's christmas event last year, We hope you enjoy this and that it gives you ideas for personalizing your toys at home. :)
We stated with this Disney Princesses tracing light table with moving vinyl strips made to mix and match princesses and dresses.
We found the center of the vinyl strips and cut along the middle to remove them from the light table.
We picked an old magazine and found our modge podge and brush...
... and selected a few images from an article and ads.
Using the modge podge and brush, we glued the cut outs on the frame of the light table. (I only used a few since I did not want her to feel like her space had been invaded or make it unfamiliar to her).
Then we picked a cutout of some artwork we printed from the internet.
We used tape to secure the image on the light table. For tracing, we thought it would be fun to try Japanese calligraphy paper and use ink stone and brush for tracing.
Here's a close up of a Japanese calligraphy brush and the calligraphy paper secured with tape on the tracing table.
This is the ink stone.
She started by tracing the head and the nose of the buffalo...
Then she thought her drawing would look nicer if she used color paint instead...
She called it " The Rainbow Tatanka".
My daughter's creativity never ceases to amaze me. The focus and attention she pays to her art just makes me smile and warms my heart to see such dedication from such a little human. Her soul sets an example for me to follow of how to put my all into what I do and set the best intentions...
We kept the vinyl cut outs, so that she has the choice to trace princesses and dresses if she wants to, but it is great to know that she is learning she can create amazing things when she is given a safe space to create and explore different perspectives...
Love and blessings to all the families of Earth!!
"perspectives" blog series 2015.