For those who know my mommy side pretty well, I am very laid back with my children and their whims for projects and creative opportunities. I feel that allowing my children the opportunities to imagine, create, envision, revisit, and evaluate their own work is an important part of child development. For myself, I don’t feel complete if I’m not involved on a project or working creatively in some way. I really believe that as a parent, our role should be one of facilitating creativity for our children. What does this look like? Well this afternoon in our home it meant: cutting old jeans into pirate pants as both my boys wanted to wear a pair for dress up. They then proceeded to dress themselves in striped shirts, bandanas, eye patches, and gold beaded necklaces. Walking around with swords, they attacked alligators and searched for buried treasure. I simply made the materials available for them to engage in this creative play. Also this afternoon in our home it meant providing a wide variety of art supplies – paper, crayons, stickers, glue, scissors, yarn, hole punch, etc. for them to just use. I moved a child sized table into our art room and established some new guidelines for orderliness. Once again, I prompted some thoughts on what they were creating, provided materials, and was present to help as needed.
It’s amazing the objects our children make through using their imaginations and feeling the freedom to create. Often we put our children’s creativity in a “box” wanting them to create a craft, follow a plan, or try to interpret what they’ve done. We don’t need to do that.
Yesterday I was talking to a friend about my boys painting and she said I was crazy and would never let her children do that at home – that was what preschool was for. Children need these opportunities ALL the time! School is a great place, but at home we should be the facilitators of creatively as well.