May 22, 2011

Nurturing Creative Children . . .

Twenty-two months is about the age I hand my kids a pen, pencil or crayons and a piece of paper to see what they will do.  Hannie B. took to crayons immediately and has been drawing ever since.

Last week it was Owlie’s turn.  He sat up to our kitchen island and focused very intently on creating a modern masterpiece.  I loved when he would draw another scribble and then proclaim, “Mommy, a birdie!” or “Mommy, a hat!”  He really believed himself to be drawing each thing he named.  It was cute. Really cute.

Of course he drew all over the countertop, but that is why I own stock in Clorox Clean-up.  I really endorse letting my children be creative on their own terms as long as I have some control over the environment {crazy control freak mom!}.  This way they get to create and make messes, but I don’t end up with Sharpie on my furniture.  There is a time and a place for things like Sharpies and scissors and paint, but most of the time, it is on a high shelf out of the reach of little hands!

Most of the time I have a stash of plain white paper, patterned paper, glue sticks, kid scissors, markers, crayons,colored pencils and bric-a-brac {like google eyes and popsicles sticks} on hand for my kids to use.  But other times we try different tactics.

This weekend Owlie spent hours outside with a bucket, water and a sponge, “washing” everything in sight on our back deck.  He was happy as a clam, thought he was helping out and it allowed the Hubby and I to get a lot done in the yard, once again proving that the simplest things make kids happy and foster creativity.

Hannie B. & RedDog spent their time in the yard searching for leaves, rocks and sticks to make an entire world for their tiny flocked teddy bears.  They played for hours too, thanks to their obsession with tiny things.  Weird? Maybe.  Creative? Yes!

How about you?  What do you do to nurture creativity in your children?


Apis Melliflora said...

Weather and yard permitting, we usually have a mud-fest at some point. Lots of sidewalk chalk. Lots of water play.

We try to collect some big boxes every year for make-believe and decoration.

We've had shaving cream battles outisde in the summer too.

But, paint is the number #1 preferred medium in this house.

The Queen Vee said...

Owlet is so intent, I can see that he knows exactly what he is drawing.

Lori Gerten said...

A pen (pencil, crayon, etc.) in hand "writing" on paper is the first sign of early literacy! Bravo for encouraging this in your children!

Comissió VIATGE said...
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Comissió VIATGE said...
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Aiketa said...

I love the picture of Owlie "oh so concentrated on his drawings". He is a cutie!

@Apis, shaving cream battle! That is awesome!

P.S: I am, right now, chatting with Queen Vee on facebook! :D

P.S2: Sorry for messing up with the comments...

TracyS. said...

Love the expression on his face. We have crayons and markers that the kids refuse to use. I like them though. One child prefers origami. Another loves sewing from my scrap bag. Another water color paint. We'll see about the rest. Everyone loves saving large cardboard boxes to make awesome forts.