Saturday, August 09, 2008

Creatively finding time for Creativity

Blogher is currently hosting a Creativity for Kids Giveaway.  In their words, they want to know:
What are you doing to inspire creativity in your kids? Have you successfully engaged your child in activities that don’t involve a plug, remote, or console? Would you like to?
BlogHer has joined with Creativity for Kids ( to explore the question and are mining the Parenting Blog community for inspiring ways that you have weaned your kids from TV, the computer, video games, and encouraged them to play—and create—in an unwired, offline world.
Creative time is very important to me.  Creating things provides me with the down time I need in this hectic life.  But with three busy kids, a hubby that is gone a lot, and a full time job, finding the time ad energy for me to be creative is hard.  Finding time, energy and patience to be creative with the kids?  It can be almost impossible. 
When we purchased this house several years ago, a "craft area" was a necessity for me.  All I really needed was the space, and I knew I could transform it into something that would suit us.  Half of our finished basement serves as this area.  There were already cabinets and a countertop installed in one corner, remnants from the previous owners remodel of the kitchen.  These cabinets hold the craft kits that my kids receive for birthdays and holidays.  They are low to the ground, and I try to put things in so they can be found.  Up above is my area, with all my stamping and scrapbooking supplies. In various storage areas nearby, there are drawers with glue, glitter glue, markers, crayons, puff balls, chenille stems, construtction paper, stickers, and other items to encourage creativity.  My sewing area is here as well, and all of my children work on a sewing project with me several times a year.
When the older two have birthday parties to attend, we try to think of fun things we can create for the birthday child.  We've made journals and totes among other things. For Christmas, we choose something and create them for every member of the family.  Last year, Bug and I created snowman earrings, necklaces, and bracelets with a sewn pouch for all the females, and drawstring bags for the males.
The Monster has a wonderful imagination, and when he begins telling me stories, I go along with them.  I ask questions that challenge him to add details.  I only wish that I could remember them to write them all down later.  Usually, these stories take place when I'm driving.
All three know exactly where all the supplies are, and they know they can go and create anytime they feel the need.  When we are home for the day, I limit the screen time, and the rest of the time they are required to go outside, play games, craft, or otherwise entertain themselves. 
Ultimately, I hope that my kids grow up knowing that they can create anything they put their minds to creating, and that they find the joy in that process.

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