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Nurturing Creativity

nurturing creativity at mamasmiles.com

Nurturing creativity is very important to me – this post about the benefits of crafting for kids touches on many of the benefits I see in living a creative life. Here are a few ways we nurture creativity in our home.

Nurturing Creativity

Here are five steps I take to nurture creativity in our home.

Prioritize free time

To be creative, you need time and space, so that you move away from thoughtless routine and into contemplation and deliberate action.

Provide creative tools

We love trying out fancy markers, paints, and brushes, but you don’t need what I call luxury crafting supplies to stimulate creativity. My kids adore drawing with pens and pencils on plain white paper, creating 3D sculptures out of scissors, paper, and tape, and turning cardboard boxes into inexpensive canvases for large scale paintings.

Click to read: Arts and Crafts Supplies for Kids

Explore your creative side

Young children especially look to parents for guidance as they decide which activities are worth their time and which should be left behind. If you want your children to nurture their creativity, be sure to get creative alongside them. As a bonus, I find that I’m much happier when I’m doing something creative!

Click to Read: Fun Ways to Teach Kids to Draw

Find inspiration

Creative inspiration can come from so many places! Nature is an all-time favorite of ours, but my family has also found inspiration in art, science, music, and by learning about the creative hobbies of friends and extended family members.

See mistakes as opportunities

One of my sisters is a professional musician, and she told me once about a music teacher who responded to students’ mistakes with, “How fascinating!” See your own errors and mishaps as doors to exploration, learning, and growth, and your children will view theirs in the same light.

How do you nurture creativity in your home?

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MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

20 thoughts on “Nurturing Creativity”

  1. I love your bit about mistakes: “How fascinating!” Such a good idea. Re: mistakes, I do say that we need mistakes because that’s how we learn from them. And I like your term “luxury crafting” items because yes, they’re cool but also not necessary to achieve the same creative growth as regular objects.

    1. Exactly! Fancy craft materials are fun, but from a nurturing creativity point of view there’s no reason to go beyond basic craft materials.

  2. I’ll definitely watch this with the kids – thank you for sharing it as I had never heard of it! In Zambia there is an expression “to learn by mistake” – it’s so true. I love all your tips for nurturing creativity – I’ve learned so much about that through your blog.

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    Love that photo of Johnny drawing!! It’s wonderful to teach kids early to appreciate their mistakes, and the mistakes of those around them. My kids are learning that mistakes and practice are the two ways to learn quickly, and both involve trying and doing your very best.

    1. Learning how to play an instrument is a superb way to learn about the value of making mistakes, and the importance of practice.

  4. jeannine: waddleeahchaa

    Amen! I totally agree with your recommendations. I like to introduce my kiddos to different artistic mediums and techniques. It’s so wonderful to find them later using materials in their own unique ways. (And I must say our recycle bin is quite popular with the kiddos!)

    Kids are sponges always soaking up ideas. The kiddos helped me make our square foot gardens. A year later I found them in the backyard making their own square foot garden using tree limbs and dirt from our compost pile. Their garden is still apart of our backyard landscape and they grow their own plants. It makes me smile every time I see it.

  5. this sounds cute! i’ll have to share it with Bear in the morning. i agree with you, too….nurturing creativity is so important. I’ve always tried really hard to make sure that my son has chances and a variety of materials to experiment and play around with. one of the “luxury art materials” that seems to get Bear into the creating mood are art pastels and watercolor pencils. (they’re so cool)

  6. It sounds like your son has great ways of accessing creativity – there are so many different ways to be creative! Music is one of my personal favorites.

    I hope you enjoy this short film!

  7. I also find I’m happier when I’m doing something creative. Great list of things to nurture creativity!

  8. We’ve been cooped up (newborns and subzero temps don’t mix), and just went for a snowy hike as a family. You should have seen my older 2 after that. The imagination…the narrated play with their little figurines…the unprompted art projects…refreshing change from the cabin fever bickering.

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