Six Ways To Love

My 5-year-old’s ear loves languages. On the bus, in the market, even just walking down the street, she tunes in to decipher the words people speak all around us. In Vancouver, it’s not unusual to hear Arabic, Hebrew, Mandarin and French on the quick walk to the grocery store and Q loves to guess which one she is hearing.

She’s also infatuated with the books filled with ancient languages on the book shelves at our house – from Greek to Assyrian, Egyptian hieroglyphs and runes. So I was not surprised, when I told her we’d tackle a big art project today, that Q chose making sheets of ancient manuscripts. It was a fun project in an old art book of hers that involved staining the paper with a tea wash and then writing out the ancient symbols in black paint.


We went to dig in to the lettering part and Q (not so unlike me) got really frustrated because the book told her she could just make up her own symbols and languages.

She likes everything she does to have meaning. So, I told her to choose one word and we would paint what it looks like in six different cultures.

“Love” was the winner.

We spent an hour or so learning about love and how it is represented symbolically in many different cultures around the world. Then, we got down to the business of tracing, painting and labeling.

Here are the results:

Q’s own version of “Love”

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