Collaborate With Your Kids: You Won’t Believe What Can Happen!

Apr 02, 2014

My son Giovanni is an assistant chef. He’s seven years old.

As an Italo-Canadian living in Florence, Italy, cooking is a big part of my life and something that me and Gio love to do together. He helps me cut up carrots, onions, and celery to make the soffrito (base) for soups and sauces, and loves using the mezzaluna (“half moon” dicer) to chop up fresh Italian herbs.

Giovanni feels special and important that I trust him to work with me, and I get practice instructing less, collaborating more. It’s a great lesson in growing up for the both of us.

And while we’ve whipped up some great meals, I recently discovered a couple mother-child duos who are taking working together to a whole other level!

First there’s Angie, a professional photographer who constructs dresses out of paper with her 4 year-old fashionista daughter, nicknamed “Mayhem.” Here’s a look at the pictures she takes of Mayhem modeling their designs:

What started off as simple compositions…

collaborate with your kids 1


…soon became incredible imitations of full-on designer looks!

collaborate with your kids 2

Fashion By Mayhem

Mother Angie is not a fashion designer or seamstress, and again, her daughter is FOUR. She says most dresses take half hour to an hour to complete, and Mayhem only wears each one for about 10 minutes. But Angie explains that it’s not about the time spent on each dress; it’s about time spent watching her favorite person learn and grow.

Then, there’s the second mother and 4 year-old daughter team that blew me away. Illustrator and graphic designer, Mica, creates collaborative paintings with her little girl. She sketches beautiful faces, her daughter draws in the bodies and backgrounds, and mom then finishes off each work of art with colorful brush-tips and acrylics:

The results are fascinatingly extraordinary.

collaborate with your kids 4

source: instagram

Mica admits that letting go of judgement and control wasn’t easy in the beginning, but now she finds joy in the shared experience with her daughter and not in the end result. As she poignantly states (in this blog post),

It’s about taking that thing you love and placing it in someone else’s hands, and trusting that everything will be okay.

I don’t know about you, but these incredible stories have inspired me to kick the creativity with my son up a notch!

At our Me + Mom in Tuscany luxury retreats and summer camps, moms and kids do tons of fun things together, like day trips to the countryside and beach, artisan workshops, Italian lessons, campfires, and a whole lot more!

I could always use some ideas at home, though…

What unique activities do you do with your children?

Read Angie & Mayhem’s full story in this interview, and check out more of their paper dresses on:


Learn more about Mica and her daughter’s art here, and check out more of their work on:

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