Being creative is something that seems to come pretty naturally for most young children. They’ll build with blocks and imagine it to be a farm, an airport, or a secret spy world. They’ll draw a picture and though you may not recognize what it is—they see it perfectly. They’ll create a “fort” with every blanket and pillow in the house—never once considering the mess because they are in the zone and having fun.
Sadly, as kids get older, the creativity fades. The focus shifts emphasizing conformity, following rules, and getting your work done; I’m certainly guilty of that mindset. And, there’s that whole other issue of the ever-present technological devices. Instead of “creating,” kids are consuming whatever game, movie, or text message is being sent their way. (Adults rarely take time to be creative because of these same afflictions.)
What’s a parent to do? As with any challenge, acknowledgment is the first step. Then, consider getting out some paper and crayons and have a family creative session–no matter what ages your kids are. Draw pictures of a favorite memory, or have each person draw a picture of an activity they would like to do.
It doesn’t matter what the project is, but it’s important to build bursts of creativity into your family time. Play a traditional board game, take a painting class together, or build a “fort” with every blanket and pillow in the house.
For every age, creativity is a treat your whole family will value.
Encouraging a Creative Life
Written by Kindra Gordon