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Sunday, May 22, 2011
Inspiring Creativity in Children
I think children like to imitate the people around them so if I am creative I see our children being creative. This does not mean they have to do the same things I do, but it opens the door for the creative juices to flow.
Somehow though creativity does not get the thumbs up in lots of homes and situations because invariably it leads to the making of, well there can be no denying it -- it leads to mess and therefore lots of clean up.
I think over the years I have gotten much better at allowing this creativity to flow and therefore the build up of that mess problem in our home. I once was more influenced by what others told me were important ~ that wonderfully clean and tidy home that had a sparkling clean floor and dusted and polished surfaces and the 'good' furniture that was only used for company rather than the enjoyment our children could have by using their creative gifts.
Since letting the creative spark become more of a focus in our home I can't help but feel that this has helped our children express their love for one another and us in a more concrete way. Many have been the gifts I have seen 'made with love' by a child who just wants to show this love in a way they can express. We have had so many special treasured gifts created 'just for...... because they like ....so much'.
we have had books made and illustrated, felted toys, wooden toys and candle holders and a variety of home made 'odds and sods'
In the last week we have had 'making presents for the baby' be a most popular theme, not because the baby will appreciate them but because the makers of the presents are showing their love for their soon to be arriving sibling.
I guess the fact that I have been doing this too is a measure of how valued a gift the baby is, for it does take time and effort and resources to create a home made gift. Those of us who make gifts are usually more appreciative of them when we receive them as well, knowing the effort and time put into them.
Not all creativity is so physical in it's appearance though. Many the time we have had to come to the current puppet show, play or circus. The trust the children have in us as parents to respect and love the production they produce is one of the greatest gifts we are blessed with. How much we can inspire and nurture that freedom of communication that we have when the children ask us 'just one more time' to come and see what they have crafted or created or produced.
It is a major responsibility to have the interests of a child and their development in your hands and this is no more apparent when asked to be involved in the appreciation of a child's sharing of them self in one or another of the creative pursuits. How often do we not have the time to come and watch, to come and just have a look at what I made, thinking that what we are doing has so much more value than a simple child's pursuit.
I know some of the greatest times I have had with the children are those memories of the time we watched them do........
Now that we have some older children I love being able to spend time 'making items' together and even learning new skills together. Once again while not everyone has the same gifts of being able to produce a finished product that is of equal quality it has been the companionship and shared intimacy that has made that time special.
I cannot imagine life without these shared experiences that have involved heart, mind and soul as we have grown with our children. I just know that our God , who is a master creator Himself, has given us these gifts to share the beauty of all we are exposed to with those we love.
Remember how God created the Garden of Eden filled with so many inspiring and beautiful surroundings!
I think that as much as possible we should be looking to fill our own homes with the same ability to inspire others towards creativity and inspiration as we possibly can.
This is my hope and my dream as I help nourish the minds and hearts of our children.....that they will look for beauty in all situations and be inspired to create more of it themselves
Blessings to you and your homes,