As many of you know, my wife Janice sells her unique vintage fabric creations on her Etsy site so her studio is an everchanging display of her latest magic. It is the first place Dyllan, our 7 year old grandaughter and her 9 year brother Simon run to during their frequent visits. They always pick up and scrutinize every new item, but it was only recently that they discovered the magic of Janice’s trash can. “Memaw” they begged, “what can we make?”
“Well”, Janice replied, “Look through the trash can to see what you can find.” Four eager hands were soon pulling fabric scraps, old patterns, discarded zippers and empty delivery cartons from the can. With Janice’s help on the sewing machine, Simon made a purse for his Aunt Jaime and Dyllan made a purse for herself. Dyllan displayed hers prominently and Simon brought tears to his Aunt’s eyes with his homemade gift.
This exercise was one of those wonderful unplanned teachable moments: the kids learned frugality (making something for nothing), creativity (designing their own original masterpieces) and (at least for Simon), generosity.
Just the other day I began to realize the depth of their learning. The kids were discussing Halloween costumes, contemplating what they might want, when Dyllan’s light bulb came on, “I know!” She exclaimed, “we can just look in Memaw’s trashcan!” Yes…it is indeed magical.
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