Be sure to come meet the LilySarahGrace team at the Ultimate Playdate during The Southern Women’s Show on Friday, 8/26 and Sunday, 8/28 from 10am - 1pm at the Spotlight Stage. And don’t forget to grab your discounted tickets by using the promo code MOMSCLT16.
We are all born with an innate ability to create, discover and wonder. However, something happens to us over time. It’s not always something we can put our finger on but we slowly start to lose our ability to break into random song and dance in front of friends, sing at the top of our lungs or march around the house with complete confidence while dressed in clothes that don’t match.
However, if you watch children you will see all of these things happening. One of the best parts of being a parent for many people is the simple joy that children are able to find in almost everything. Their ability to have make-believe friends; believe in magic and fairy tales and to play for hours outside as they create mud castles, forts and jungle adventures in their minds. Despite our desire and hope to believe that this “magic” time will never disappear, we slowly begin to see as our children get older that they begin to question their own creativity more and more.
How can we as parents ensure our children never lose this? How can we make sure we encourage our children during their school years to maintain their sense of wonderment and creativity? Much of this begins with what we do at home. Building a strong foundation and safe place to create and grow will ensure this will spill over into their school years. As parents, we can then advocate and support educators and schools in bringing creativity into the classroom.
One of the best things for children is to see those they love the most engaging in play and wonder with them. Allow your child to get messy (trust me, we know this can be tough), all those recyclables and random pieces of things you planned on throwing out- save them, and lastly you wouldn’t believe the amount of household things you probably have lying around that are perfect for engaging your child in creativity. Of course with all of these things, the best thing is for your child to see YOU engaging with them and using your own mind to create wonderful things. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1 - Develop a creativity spot, corner, drawer or box in your home. Fill it with random odds and ends and allow your child to freely go into the area to create.
2 - Create a mini museum or gallery spot that will allow your artists work to shine.
3 - Save those recyclables! They work amazingly well for designing and writing about inventions! Paper towel and toilet paper rolls are perfect for creating an awesome slide that can roll small balls or marbles. Let them make an amusement park.
4 - Tin foil is amazing and a great talking point. Next time you read a book with your child, have them share their favorite part by sculpting with foil. You should sculpt your favorite part too! There are endless possibilities for foil.
5 - Water art- break out the hose and an old paint brush and paint anywhere you would like outside!
6 - Chalk- chalk is awesome, timeless and super fun for practicing sight words or playing hangman. It is also a great way to tell stories!
Anna Glodowski is currently Coordinator of Educational Programs at LilySarahGrace (LSG), a national nonprofit that works to put the arts and creativity back into classrooms through grants and professional development. Prior to this she taught at an inner-city school for 7 years. She lives in Charlotte with her husband, two-year-old daughter and six year old foster son. Please feel free to reach out to Anna about upcoming parent classes or charity events at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out their website at www.lilysarahgrace.org