A big “Thank You” to MaryAnne of the blog Mama Smiles, for today’s post on encouraging creativity.
We spend a lot of time engaged in creative activities in our house! As the mother of a six-year-old, a four-year-old, and a two-year-old (with a baby due this summer), I try to provide my children with a creativity-friendly space so that they can learn through hands-on exploration, work together on projects, and practice innovative problem-solving.
Here are some of the things I do to establish a creativity-friendly home:
- Schedule free time into my children’s days. They need this space to dream, think, and create.
- Invest in craft materials that require minimal supervision – so that they can be creative while I get things done!
- Spend time crafting with my kids. Besides providing a fantastic bonding experience, this lets my kids know that I value creativity – my own, as well as theirs.
- Take the time to sit back and enjoy watching them create. It’s a window into their world, and – again – lets them know that this is something you value.
- Focus on process over product. Earlier this year, my kids spent several days attempting to capture the tooth fairy – an impossible task, of course! It was so much fun to watch them problem solve and work together on this project, and they didn’t seem remotely upset when the tooth fairy never did show up!
Creativity doesn’t have to be messy or expensive. In the photo at the top of this post, my six-year-old daughter Emma is repurposing some clothes my sister brought over that were too worn-out or damaged to be donated. Armed solely with these outfits, a pair of child safety scissors, and some scotch tape, my six-year-old has created outfits for herself and (with the addition of pipe cleaners) her Barbie doll. We explore messier activities using washable craft supplies (Crayola makes some great washable markers and paint!), and the messiest activities we save for summer, when we can make things outdoors! I find that crafting has a lot of benefits for kids – some of them surprising!
We do a lot of drawing and crafting, simply because that’s what I most enjoy doing! Music, reading, and writing are all equally valuable pursuits, and even subjects like mathematics and science can become incredibly creative, if approached from an exploratory point of view!
What do you do to encourage childhood creativity?