I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I get overwhelmed and wouldn’t have the first clue where to start. Creativity and art are expensive, and I don’t have enough time in the day.
Any of these sound familiar? These are all comments I have heard from parents and while I am not calling them out, I am here to show you that none of these comments are accurate.
There are things in our lives that we believe, down to our core; things that are unquestionable. The foundations. For me, it is that humans were born to be creative. We cannot help ourselves! It is inherent in our souls to hunt out the beauty and to create something that will live on after we are gone. A legacy, if you will.
Do a quick Google search for Cave Paintings or Stone Age Art. We see our very first ancestors also had this spark. Somewhere through the ages we have lost our way; we were told we were not good enough; we told ourselves we were not good enough. Somewhere along the way, we decided to leave it to the professionals.
I have a passion to show parents that we are missing something BIG. By leaving creativity by the wayside, we have unintentionally stopped nurturing our children’s creative potential. It IS important; as important as science, math, and any other subject.
And the best part is that we don’t have to be experts in creativity! You do not need a degree to be creative. Creativity is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes; the more you practice it, the happier you will feel (scientifically proven!).
For children, it is so important for well-rounded development and especially for their mental and emotional welfare. It is where they can express their feelings; it is where they can process life; it is where they have a moment’s pause to just be present. What’s not to love?!
Don’t know where to begin? Here are 5 easy ways to make a start on being more creative with your kids in 2020.
1. Stock an inexpensive craft cupboard/drawer/Tupperware box
This is one urban myth that I’d like to immediately dispel. Crafting can be very inexpensive. Many supermarkets and online stores sell large craft pack bundles for very cheap. Once you have the basics – pens, paper, scissors, glue, paint, and miscellaneous items (such as pom poms, glitter, sequins, pipe cleaners, or popsicle sticks), then you can get started.
As a die-hard crafter, I never throw out items like empty loo roll, yogurt pots, egg cartons, cereal boxes, and Amazon boxes. All these items can be repurposed in crafting!. Utilise what you have and I promise you will soon start seeing items that can be added to your arts and crafts cupboard.
2. Don’t know where to start? Start with colouring!
As with anything, starting is often the most daunting part. It’s why so many things never happen – that first hurdle stumps us.
If you are overwhelmed, then just start colouring with your children. There are so many colouring book options these days that you can find something for everyone. Mindful colouring is very in at the moment. I really recommend having 10 minutes of parent and child colouring time. It is a wonderful and short time to be still with each other, to enjoy each other’s company, and to see how everyone is doing. It was a really important time for us when Daddy was away on deployment as it was a chance to “lean in” and draw close.
3. Don’t overcomplicate it; simplicity is better
Once you have graduated from colouring or are starting to feel brave enough to venture beyond the pre-drawn pictures, the first step is to let go of your expectations. You don’t have to plan out this big event where everyone will be making this beautiful end product. Do not think that if it doesn’t look like it should or how you envisioned it that it was a waste of time. Children always enjoy themselves better when they are allowed to process play. That means that the most important thing is in the “making” and not the end product.
More often than not when we put limits on children’s creativity, they get frustrated. The looser the parameters, the more crazy and awesome the end product – more importantly, the more THEY learn.
For example, put a load of recyclables in front of them and tell them to make something. Or if they need a bit of help, ask them to make a city. You’ll be amazed at what they can and will do!
4. Have energetic kids that won’t sit still for long? Focus on creativity that involves movement and the outdoors.
I have heard this comment from a LOT of boy mums, and I get it. A lot of boys play very differently from girls (and vice versa), and they just need to move. And that’s ok! You can still be creative with your energetic kids.
The only difference is that you can try concentrating on art and creativity that leans toward movement and being outside. There are so many things you can do in the woods or on the beach that instill and encourage creativity. Send them out to find a load of shells and pebbles to create a huge pattern in the sand – that’s land art (is that a thing? Go Google it!) Go send them out into the woods to pick up a load of leaves and sticks and make leaf crowns and stick swords. The options are limitless!
5. Follow some Craft Bloggers for inspiration
In the last 5 years, social media has exploded, especially in the crafting area. Artists sell paintings; teachers share teaching resources; writers sell books; bloggers share and sell their ideas. It can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start, but it is really worth it for creative inspiration.
I am especially partial to Instagram. There are so many arts and craft bloggers that share ideas daily on their social media platforms as well as their own websites. On Instagram, you can follow hashtags that may be relevant to you and with it, you will have creative ideas at your fingertips. Hashtags such as #kidscraft, #cheapcrafts, or #creativekids are all great places to start.
And while we are at it, my Instagram @therainbowtreeblog is a fabulous place to find inexpensive, passionate and easy mindful kids crafting… if I don’t say so myself!
So do not let the idea of creativity and crafting with your kids scare you off.
It is an important part of their growth and development, and it is a great way to connect with one another. It does not need to Pinterest-worthy or even something resembling “real art.” So long as you and your children are creating together, it is possibly the best art in your house.