I am the first to admit that my “mom enthusiasm” to spontaneously plunge into a creative activity with my children, is often hindered by the thought of the mess. Rather than thinking about the quality time I will be spending with my children, I get distracted by the thoughts of cleaning up afterwards.
As mothers, we often overlook the fact that it is the time that we spend with our children in the creative process that is important, not the end product.
Technology and our consumer culture, deprives us of time and opportunities to create things with our hands. Creating objects gives us a sense of accomplishment, pleasure and meaning. Creativity is less about ambition and more about living.
Creativity is not meant to be measured
Let yourself play, there are no rules and no expectations. Do not feel you need to use the material sparingly or delicately and don’t plan it, just begin! This can be especially hard for moms, but in a child’s world there should be no rules when it comes to creativity. Let your child mix the playdough colours. There should be no conditions or judgment in creating.
When it comes to kids and costs, we cannot always fork out for new playdough, but you can make your own playdough at home using simple kitchen ingredients. Activities like gardening, finger painting, clay and making mud pies in the sandpit are easy and affordable. Designate a place, such as the patio, for drawing with Jumbo chalk.
Other easy activities include
For collage, cut pictures from old magazines. Don’t interfere with your child’s picture choices, cutting, layout, and pasting. Their process and product is an artistic representation of their inner world.
Decorate an old shoebox with your child, while discussing what sort of treasures they can collect and keep in their treasure box. They can collect – shells from the beach, stones, dried flowers and special photos and place them in their treasure box.
Scribble patterns all over a clear plastic bottle with permanent markers. Colour half a cup of rice with food colouring. Fill the bottle and seal the lid with glue.
Be mindful to choose fun, no-fail activities, as there is already too much pressure at school to perform. Creativity often gets stifled at school, as children are required to conform and colour inside the lines.
Einstein famously said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun”. The objective here is your creative connection and having fun.
By Mikaela Griffiths Bester, registered Expressive Arts Therapist