In our uber-structured, hyper-scheduled world, there seems to be little room for that sort of meandering, fly by the seat of your pants type of creativity that is so essential. At my house, I find it lacking because I fear my children’s boredom (sad but true). See boredom nets squabbles. And squabbles (which are seemingly rampant of late) are the bane of my existence. So I throw activities at them fast and furious in a desperate attempt to keep the peace. The result? Two spectacularly uninspired kiddos waiting for me to tell them exactly what to do.
So I’m trying a different approach and instead of spelling things out for them so to speak, I’m going to get them started and then just see what happens — a little exercise in “creativity kickstarting” if you will.
Here are a few ideas I’ve stockpiled to get started. I’ll let you know how they go (or you try them out at home and let me know what you think, I’d love to hear…) And feel free to throw any additional ideas that have worked for you my way, and I’ll occasionally share them here on the blog.
1. Possibilities in Remnants.
“I’d want her to always be unfinished, to know raw edges and tomorrow, and the possibilities in remnants and pieces of string… I hope her ideas always consume her, at once feverish and specific, and I hope there will always be more ideas than she can ever get to.” — Su Wu
Artist, writer, and D Moms contributor Lucia Simek originally shared this genius idea last year, but it remains one of my favorite. Inspired by blogger Su Wu’s musings on Etsy (above), Lucia set forth to regularly gift her kiddos with supplies and ephemera that could build “a mad-crazy resourceful and inventive wunderkind.” I am stealing this idea stat.
2. Expand an Image. This one was spotted on the blog Art Mommie. In a simple, low-frills, and just totally genius move, the children’s art teacher had students use their imaginations to expand on an image. I’ll be equipping the girls to do the same with photos filched from our cache of vintage National Geographic magazines
3. A Book to Illustrate — I’m in love with these image-free books filled with off-beat stories. In a sort of visual take on Mad Libs, they let kiddos fill in the blanks with their own drawings. I think it would be fun to give both girls copies of the same book to see their different takes on similar subject matter. Good fodder for meal time conversation, yes?
4. Creative Juice (Box) at Studio Arts — If the above activities fail miserably, I’ll bring in the big guns and sign up for a Friday night workshop at Studio Arts in Lake Highlands. They supply the juice box (and art project) and you bring the artist. The workshop riffs on the studio’s “Outside the Box Class” which is designed to get dormant creative juices flowing. (The workshops happen on random Friday nights from 4:30 – 6:30, are designed for ages 6 – teens and are $30 per project per person. More info on dates here.) Oh and they invite one for adults too…because moms need a creative kickstart too, yes?