Friday, August 17, 2012

creative kids

Do you find there's some things you've accidentally done right in your parenting, but now you're so glad you did??

I have super creative kids!!! I am a creative person myself, so this may come easier to me than some, but I truly believe we were ALL made creative in some way. Even my type A, super organized, perfectionist friends have ways in which they are crazy creative! After all, a linen closet with nice baskets and perfectly folded stacks of matching towels is beautiful, right!? Others, like me, are the messy creative types. And some art forms require a perfectionist's eye--like photography, for instance.

Anyway, here's my secret to raising creative kids: let them. I know it it's messy and I know I probably spend more time cleaning up than many moms, but it's worth it to me because creativity teaches resourcefulness and many other things that translate into life skills:

"How can I really stretch the grocery money this week, even though we're having company twice?"

"I think if I cut the bottom off this too-small jumper of my daughter's, it would make a cute skirt for her instead."

"$50 to get a piece of art from Mongolia framed!? Forget it, I can figure out a way to do this myself." (clearly speaking from recent experience there, ha!)

Last weekend my kids showed up to meet Casey and I at the airport after a little anniversary trip with super hero masks, crowns, belts, arm bands, etc... out of construction paper. The girls had fashioned them all and it was an adorable site, especially when Natalie handed me her "business card", which said "Cat Woman. Meow". When we got home, I suggested they make their masks and stuff out of felt instead. Then I would sew on some Velcro and elastic for them.

This morning I handed Kelby an empty egg carton and he got super excited and asked if he could paint it, to which I said, "you get the paints, I'll get the water".

Natalie is currently setting up an "Art Shop", for which she's been drawing pictures since yesterday. As the project expands to more rooms in the house, I have to suppress my desire for the house to look last-minute-company-ready all the time and just let her do it. She'll be cleaning it up later ;)

Layla's trying to make paper airplanes. With lots of paper. But, she's using scratch paper that I insist Casey bring home just for this purpose--and we can recycle it later.

You might think art and craft projects always need to be planned and supervised, but this is not the case--as long as we aren't trying to make their work look perfect or getting upset that they're ruining perfectly good felt--that only cost ten cents. 

So, here's what I'm saying. Even if you're not a sewer, scrapbooker, or naturally inclined to the arts at all, if you have a few supplies around and in reach of your children, they will use them. And you'll all be enriched :)


  1. My kids are also very creative. They are always making things. I admit that sometimes it drives me crazy to have their creative mess everywhere and want to throw it all away, but I never do. My mom was pretty lenient with us and our creations and I loved it growing up, so I just remind myself of that. Is it wishful thinking that they might one day start cleaning up after themselves without constant prodding? :-)

  2. Great words of wisdom...words I need to hear. Thanks!