Playing with the grandchildren allows me the opportunity to just play, follow my curiosity, and explore my world with a fresh perspective.
Today I pull the four colored containers of dough from the shelf and we take our seats around the table with an expectation of excitement.
We each pick up one color – red, yellow, white, blue. At first stiff, soon the smoother texture is squishing between our fingers as it warms, prompting laughter. The blue leaves small traces of color on the skin, under the nails.
Our hands squish and roll and pat and pound the dough. Small pieces find the floor. It will dry rapidly or remain gooey and sticky and leave traces around the house travelling on the bottom of a shoe. I suggest they stop throwing the dough.
I learned a long time ago that mixing red and blue makes purple, red and yellow create orange, yellow and blue turn green, red and white produce pink. As an adult with the curiosity of a child, I have to try this for myself.
“Hey, let’s see what happens if we mix a little of my blue with a little of your red,” I say.
They watch fascinated as the dough actually transforms into purple oozing through my fingers, rolled into a small smooth ball. Now they want to mix colors, too.
I suggest experimenting with a little bit of two different colors to see what happens. Small hands work the dough, squishing two colors until they become one. Enthusiasm grows as more colors are created. We craft nine additional colors including a few rainbow patterns. We learn that if you mix them all together the dough becomes brown.
After the grandchildren leave, I notice my hands feel stiff from working with the dough. I set the timer for one minute and raise one hand comfortably up over my head. I shake my hand rapidly feeling the reverberation in my arms for five seconds. Then I let the hand fall so quickly the movement creates enough momentum to bring it around and up completing a large circle in the air. As I drop the hand again I allow it to pause by my side, spread the fingers wide, curl them into a tight fist, then let them relax. I try this with the other hand. Finally, shaking both hands lightly by my side, the stiffness is gone.
Stiffness in the hands, wrist
Raise one hand comfortably up over the head. Shake the hand rapidly feeling the reverberation in the arms for five seconds. Let the hand fall so quickly the movement creates enough momentum to bring it around and up completing a large circle in the air. Drop the hand again and allow it to pause by the side, spread the fingers wide, curl them into a tight fist then let them relax. Repeat with the other hand. Finish by shaking both hands lightly as they hang by the side.