I am a wife and mom to a very supportive husband and three adorable kids: ages 6, 3 1/2 and 9 months. I'm so lucky to get to stay home with them, and while we definitely don't live the high life, I do feel so blessed to be able to be at home with them, to teach them, and play with them and set an example for them. I'm honored to be asked to guest blog over here at Noodles on the Wall and to share some of my insight with you on how I try to encourage my kids to be creative, as it's what makes ME happy!
I feel like I used to be able to do fun, creative things more often when I just had one kid...and even when I had two. (duh, right?) I had more time and I had more energy. The two of us, or sometimes the three of us, would benefit from constantly doing art projects and learning activities together. What the heck happened!!!? I only added one more kid, but unfortunately, with my oldest in school, one in preschool a couple of times a week, and then a new baby.........I wonder do I do it at all anymore?
So, I don't do creatively awesome projects with my kids every day. I don't even always do a creative project with them once a week. Truthfully, we squeeze them in when we can. Sometimes that means not everyone gets to participate, and other times, it means that we do it in shifts. But this much is true, we all love to work on things together!
What role does creativity play in your home?
I try to set a good example for my children on a daily or weekly basis by showing them how creativity can make us happy and how it makes me happy. I love the satisfaction of completing a project, a quilt or a new cardigan. I love figuring out "The MacGyver" way to fix a broken toy so it's as good as new. I also enjoy checking a project or activity off of my list of things to do! The best is that my kids LOVE to do little projects with me and of course, I with them!
What inspires you to take on the creative with your kids?
I admit that I feel a small amount of success as a mom after we complete a little project together. I feel like I'm not just surviving as a mom or just doing the bare minimum. On those days, I have succeeded in being a fun, creative mom! The more little half-an-hour projects we do, the more successful I feel, and the more fun my kids have. My kids will remember spending time with me and will hopefully cherish that time as they get older: that's what inspires me.
Now, while we totally don't spend all day, every day creating...we do enjoy a good project together. It can range from building a pirate ship from a kit with my 6 year old, digging dinosaur bones out of a block of sand or using perler beads to create a butterfly with my 3 year old. I love to get those kits at the store for my kid's birthdays. Then I have a go to project to do with them.
I think the important part of creating with your kids is to give them the tools they need to create and then allow them to use their imaginations to do it however they want. Tools meaning markers, scissors, paper, glue, glitter, cookie sheets with magnets, or a store-bought kit......whatever!
When my kids show me something that they've drawn either at school or just at home, rather than saying "ooooh, what is that?" I love to say: "Wow! Tell me about this!" You can see the wheels in their little heads turning and see the pride shining on their faces.
There are so many ways to "create" and there are so many places (ie Pinterest) that give us ideas. Our kids deserve to know the joy of what being creative brings to our lives.
What are your children's ideal noodle dish?
Probably just plain-old-unromantic spaghetti!