As you might have guessed, this month is THE blog every day month and there is a nifty long list of people all signed up so I like to click on the list and see who I can find. My neighbor this year is The Mahogany Way and she is a mom and a crafter and I can easily get lost in her day to day stories because the are so similar (but different) than mine. Today she is participating in a carnival style post where a bunch of people write on the same topic and today the theme is ‘Nurturing Creativity in the Home‘. I looked back at the original organizer and found that there are 3 more post topics coming up in the next three weeks and they are all things I would love to write about so I’m officially signing up for them, however, I was too late to sign up for this weeks (but that won’t stop me…)
After reading Ms Mahogany I could basically say ‘me to’ to how she nurtures creativity. I too put all the kid friendly art supplies in easy reach, I even let the baby use markers although she eats them far too often. I do not have the paint or glitter in super easy access but they have come out without my knowledge in the past and we are still alive. Niamh LOVES to ‘project’ and I actually even have a drawer in the art cart dedicated to random project stuff for them to be inspired by. I sew while they eat dinner all the time and they love my scraps for barbie clothing. This all is fairly common, I think; let kids at the stuff, stand back, love what they create even if it was messy and might look like poop (figuratively and literally) and always be a good example about being creative and crafty for them. Check, check, and check – just look at yesterdays post, that is a 17 month old with a screwdriver using it basically correctly, she is either a genius or good at watching me.
Here is my slight tangent and where I start to diverge from the true mother-earth style mothers. I think commercial toys are just fine too and we have plenty. I know there are tons of people who only want wood and non specific toys for their kids so their imaginations are always engaged but I think that there is a balance. We have tons of blocks but the girls love to just stack anything.
We have My Little Ponies galore, including their castle, but the kids manage to include all the animals in pony games and often creatively decorate the castle to suit their mood
They use the garish colored Dora kitchen like its their job, but, in playing with it I’ve heard them play restaurant, wedding, bakery, hair salon, store and house. Fiona likes to open and shut the doors and move things around, Niamh is actually putting food together that might even be edible (if it were food) and Zoe is excited to make crazy combos but all this with highly specific food items in a play kitchen. To the cooking point, Niamh was inspired by Master Chef Jr to start learning to cook so even TV is allowed to teach my kids and I think they are doing well for it.
I know the toy industry isn’t hurting but the huge number of ‘no toy’ families I run into grate on me as much as the ‘must collect every. single. one’ families. I also allow and encourage toys in every room of the house. That is another trend I see often; the ‘no toys outside of xyz room(s)’. At this point in their life they love toys and I want them to play where I am and with us all so that means toys everywhere. I’m decently organized and in all but the play room there is a designated spot for toys so it can all go away but yes, there is a dora kitchen in my livingroom. I think part of nurturing creativity is not putting it in a box. We don’t have craft time, we just have time when we might craft if the mood hits us. We don’t have a play room, we have a house that includes 3 little girls and what they love to do. Creativity is part of my every day life (see monday’s post!) and I hope that is passed down to my three.
ps. I did not overly mention that I get this creative gene naturally and was raised in a house that allowed art and creative mess BUT that is actually one of the topics to come so I’m saving the good stuff.