Get your kids creating.

This is a repost from a couple of years back. Definitely worhty of the effort to dust it off and share it again.

How can you get your kids busy making
puppets? Or drawings? Or masks? Or jewelry? Or costumes? (Or making
anything for that matter?)

Many parents don't know where to start to
help guide their children into more creative adventures. Here are a few
basic steps that should make your home the creative nucleus it secretly wants to be.

Get your kids creating! | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

1. Make time.

we don't make time
for our own creativity it is asking a bit to much to expect our
children to find the time in their own experience. They live what they
learn, so make time to be creative yourself (in the presence of your
children) and with your kids, even if it is just a few moments here and
there. Draw with them. Make a fairy fort
outside. Make paper masks. Sew, knit, paint. Anything. Create a new
family ritual. (Steal our idea for a weekend morning Jammie Craft
featured here and here.) Carve out the time, even if it is just five minutes, two days a week.

Get your kids creating! | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

2. Have supplies available.

Supplies that you don't ration.
Nothing squelches creativity like a parent hovering and being miserly
about their materials. My kids have their own yarn because they were
"borrowing" yarn from my project cabinet which was making me freak. And
their having to constantly ask for tape made me buy them their own tape
dispenser so that mine stayed in the office.

Some of our favorites kids' craft supplies are: wool and cotton yarn,
cotton fabric, wool felt, sequins and glitter (these are kept on a high
shelf and used when I help with setup), glue, needles, thread,
embroidery floss, watercolors, kite paper, regular paper (white and colored), pencils,
crayons, and wooden bits.

Get your kids creating! | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

3. Organize your supplies

…so that
kids can find what they need easily. Self-service is important to
encourage kids to follow their creative spark. Think kid's eye level
and accessible day-to-day location.

have a sideboard in our dining
room filled with supplies with labeled drawers. (The labels include
pictures and words so that pre-readers can still find what they want.)
We have a friend with a
devoted dresser of supplies. You'll find the right answer for your
space. It needn't be fancy – just orderly.

Get your kids creating! | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

4. Unplug and Acquaint Yourself With Boredom.

we're getting to the sticky ones.) Nothing brings a faster death to
creativity than lots of screen time for a kid. The younger your child is
the less media they should be exposed to. (A well-accepted standard is
no screen time before two, thought many believe it should go much beyond

Without screen time kids will get bored. And they'll whine. And fuss. And be dramatic. It will be uncomfortable.

And then out of pure desperation they'll engage their brains and get un-bored.
And that's when the best magic happens. But you have to stick it out
and have some great supplies at hand. Trust me. You'll curse my name
along the way, but the destination will be so worth it. 

Worth saying that the screen-time reduction should go for everyone lest it appear to be a demented parental punishment.

Get your kids creating! | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

5. Find your inspiration.

some simple crafts up your sleeve for when you have creative time with
your kids. Maybe they'll be old favorites from your childhood. Tap into
your friends. Call your mom. Or come here to see what we're up to. Other
great blogs for quick crafts are Crafty Crow and Artful Parent.

6. Plant Seeds.

"When I was a kid I made the coolest puppet out of a toilet paper roll
and some construction paper." Plant creative seeds for your kids to
nurture. They'll take the lead and come up with some great creative
ideas of their own.

Get your kids creating! | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

7. Get out of the way.

It is
wonderful to nudge children in the direction of creative expression,
but then get out of the way. Busy yourself with your own parallel
project (making your own puppet for example), or quietly slip away and
make dinner.

Their finished project does not need to be perfect. This can be hard for us to learn. As parents we tend to offer too many suggestions, too many
ideas, too much direction. They know what they are doing. This is their
project – not yours. (Let the big pink strawberry star in that spring
puppet show.)

Enjoy the journey. Let me know what transpires this weekend in your craft zone!

7 thoughts on “Get your kids creating.

  1. KC says:

    Lovely! I pinned it. Though we do art every day, Wednesday is our specific art day when we explore new materials. Last week was modeling wax. This week will be watercolor pencils! 🙂

  2. angie says:

    great post. I really enjoy being creative w/ my kids, and now that they are older (10 and 11)I am amazed at how much they can do and what they can create all by themselves.

  3. Jenn says:

    I have a 20 month old son and would love to do this. Do you have any suggestions for what art time rituals would look like for him? I don’t envision any kind of finished end product. I’m just unsure what would make sense to him as artistic play/playful art at this age. Any ideas?

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