I'm Tammy


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    A Creative Childhood

    "Kodachrome, they give us those nice bright colours
    They give us the greens of summers
    Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah
    I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph
    So mama don't take my Kodachrome away."
    ~ Simon & Garfunkel´╗┐

    "dandy lion" 8x10" drawing paper, pen
    my younger daughter (7) drew this flowery mandala

    To help your kids remain creative as they grow older, proactively notice, see + do creative things!

    1. Knit, sew, draw, doodle, sketch, write, paint, scrapbook; be a creative role model.
    2. Create bed-time stories.
    3. Invent recipes; cook yummy things with the kids, like making bread.
    4. Collect flowers & leaves from your garden, sort, collage & sketch.
    5. Make maps of your house, the supermarket, school, real & imaginary places.
    6. Get older kids a camera; photograph and play with light together.
    7. Put a lot of unscheduled time in your schedule, time for kids to follow their curiosities and imaginations. Learn about The Project Approach at Camp Creek Blog.
    8. Play games; cards, chess, monopoly, CLUE, apples to apples + my software picks for kids 6-10.
    9. Practice {not} micromanaging kids' art
    10. Do creative projects with your kids (see A Project List for Kids).
    11. Read (see our Top Picks: Books for Kids 0-12, by age)
    12. Explore art, from Calvin & Hobbes (sparked a cartoon marathon here) to Kandinsky.
    13. Get back to basics.
    14. Be careful {not} to erode kids' creativity.
    15. Be your child's advocate. Do not ignore teachers, activity leaders & other adults who stifle kids' creativity.

    These are just a handful of ideas! Kids under 7 will enjoy Day Brighteners. Please share some of your own experience in helping kids retain their creative self-confidence as they grow older.

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    Reader Comments (5)

    I think if the kids see how important these things are to you, they will follow suit! It's a balance when the kids are young to do your stuff and help them with theirs. We all want our kids to think for themselves and to use all these wonderful outlets that get their brains in gear. Always with encouragement! My youngest is a Jr in HS, so she's a little too cool for my stuff, but I've noticed that all that "art" from the past has made it's way into other activities in her life. She's just finding the confidence to express it!

    01.22.2010 | Unregistered CommenterEden

    oh, my girls love 2 cut out scenes and animals from old national geographic/arizona magazines & make a collage. they also like to cut out parts of people from magazine catelogs & then re-create them - they are so funny :)
    happy crafting,

    01.22.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjo

    hmmm...at 11 and 13 they've almost taken creativity into their own hands. My girl has always loved the Klutz books kits which are great for self-learning - bead looming, friendship bracelets, stenciling, etc. The boy has always built things, written comic panels, etc. Both of them like to draw cartoon and imaginary characters.

    I'm not sure what I can add to your suggestions about kids younger than that. I think it's mostly just hanging out with them and introducing them to what you do, and then letting them run with their own ideas. Mostly, not worry about spilled paint and "spoiled" paper - really cultivate the idea that they're not shooting for an outcome, they're free to experiment with the materials at hand.

    And I can't agree more about unscheduled time. It's harder now that they're older and busier, but we still try to carve it out and gaurd it.

    01.24.2010 | Unregistered Commentersophie_vf

    i am sure most people don't look at your blog for the quotes, but i love them! especially when you choose song lyrics :)

    01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commentersheila

    * Eden, I'm thrilled to hear that your daughter's artistic experiences are bubbling up into her life now in different ways. Many adults - even teachers - have a negative impact on kids' creativity and self-confidence and probably don't even realize it.

    * Jo, It's interesting that your kids like to create things with "people parts" because my daughters have been doing just that! One is placing them in a book she's altering and my younger daughter keeps a collection of "people" with parts from different images. Clothing catalogs are great for source material.

    * Sophie, Self-propelled creativity! Yay! I think that if they have a lot of creative, open-ended experiences when younger, it is natural for kids to continue the trend and feel comfortable with their own creative decisions.

    * Sheila, Lyrics are so much fun to use, because I like to match the feel of the song, the words, and the subject of the post! Thank you for leaving a comment. PS. Grey skies here!

    ~ Tammy

    01.28.2010 | Registered Commentergypsy

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