by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Does your child see the world as a canvas, appreciating the beauty in the smallest of things? If not, don't worry. You can still find and encourage this in your kids at any age. I was raised by a creative mom and I also teach my own kids my creative habits on a daily basis. So I know firsthand from those experiences, that these methods can work extremely well. Raising kids who embrace creativity is an ongoing, but enjoyable effort.
Keep art supplies around. This is an absolute must if you expect the children to naturally develop and embrace their creativity. Be sure to have plenty of different mediums and supplies for them to experiment with. Paint supplies, drawing supplies, clay, coloring books with crayons, colored pencils, and markers are just a few suggestions. Remember that craft supply stores generally have nice art supplies as well.
Point out the beauty of nature. In addition to encouraging kids to make and illustrate things, point out the beauty that nature itself holds. If you look close enough, nature is its own art canvas. The birds singing in the trees and the rabbits and prairie dogs peeking out of the earth offer an amazing scene. Kids can embrace the creativity of nature by snapping photos. Start with offering them a simple low-cost digital camera and as the kids progress, you can go more high-tech.
Find art in commonplace things. Take a look around you at the way all things look, not just in nature. Take the kids on artistic adventures around the house and places like the grocery store. Look at the way your table is set. Find art in the way yourself, the kids, and others dress and point it out. Observe together the way items are arranged in your favorite stores. This can be especially fun at craft and hobby stores, who often arrange their displays very artistically. Museums are also a great place to observe art, of course.
Let them see you expressing creativity. This is perhaps one of the most important ways you can teach kids to embrace their creativity. Kids usually do what they see being done. If you have an obviously creative eye, they will naturally model after you. As often as you can, point out when you are being creative and artistic. For instance, when you are decorating the house, explain the creative aspects, as well as the mathematical and scientific ones. Let them see you draw, sing, write, paint, craft, or whatever you like to do that is creative. For me, it is all of the above and more.
Raising kids who embrace creativity is about more than a few lessons. It is an ongoing learning experience that should be treasured by the parents and kids equally. It's not about just one or two things. It's about embracing the beauty in all things, both natural and crafted by humans. It's also about letting your mind and the minds of your kids run free to see, imagine, and create all the time. When you let the imaginations of the kids control what they see and do, you (and they) will be amazed at what they can create.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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