Please welcome guest blogger Catherine Denton!
When my children were young, their excitement about life showed me that creating is most delicious when you’re free to explore. Teaching them to live creatively was simple and happened in the daily moments. Here are some tips I learned along the way:
- Bring little ones alongside you. Children naturally want to be with you participating in your activities. The best way to show them a creative life is to let them join yours. If you’re baking, let them stir. If you’re painting, let them paint.
- Allow them to practice new skills over and over. My husband and I ate tons of scrambled eggs and muffins when my first daughter learned to cook; French toast with my second daughter; and boiled eggs with my son. Soon we were relieved of fixing breakfast entirely.
- Let go of your expectations. Relax and see how your child plays, how they learn and let them do things that don’t seem important to you. My son collected cereal boxes for months and I struggled with wanting to toss them. It didn’t make sense to me until he revealed an astounding giant sculpture he’d been secretly building.
- Encourage their attempts. Even if something seems easy to us, we can’t overlook what a huge accomplishment it is for the child. My daughter’s transition from drawing a stick figure to something more was frustrating for her. Letting her know how good I thought she was doing helped her continue until that stick person grew round and realistic.
- Doodle on the grocery list. Sounds silly, but the point is to add beauty to everyday life. It may be as simple as letting them put the weeds flowers on the table for a center piece; or wearing a princess dress to the hardware store; or hanging necklaces on the doorknobs when company is coming. My daughter’s young obsession with doorknob decorating grew into a true knack of savvy décor.
- Give them tools to help pursue their interests. We’ve made it point to give tools (colored pencils, baking pans, Legos) for birthday and Christmas instead of toys. Tools last many years, get hundreds of hours of use, and encourage productive activity.
Thank you for those great tips Catherine! I think if we pay attention to our little ones, we can learn how to lead more creative lives ourselves as well!