Eleanor Douglas-Meyers is a crafty mom from Uitenhage who writes about DIY, parenting, natural hair care, fashion, food and fun on her blog JustEllaBella Today she looks at choosing day care
I think of myself as the “creative type” I love making things and creating things and I can often be found with some sort of art supply nearby.
There is no doubt that my son has a strong creative side, even at the age of three it is pretty obvious. Whether he is making up stories to tell, making up songs to sing, painting or taking pictures, it is a big part of who he is at the moment.
Creativity is a great skill to have, it opens you up to a world of possibilities so I try to encourage this side of him… (without ignoring the other sides naturally). As I’m not a trained teacher or child psychologist the following 10 tips have not gone through clinical trial.
It is just what I believe as a “creative adult” and parent to a “creative child”.
Try different things
Maybe painting is your child’s thing, maybe it is making figures with play dough or making music … you need to keep trying different things and exposing your child to different creative outlets.
Lean on other creatives
If being arty farty is not your thing, chat to a friend who is, or enroll your child in a class and even easier than that … use the internet,! use blogs or columns like mine or just check out Pinterest.
Don’t be afraid to get messy
The best part of teaching your child to be crafty and creative, is getting hands on. Enjoy the experience of being messy together, even if it’s not your thing, your creative little one will appreciate it.
This is hard for me at times … letting him colour outside of the lines, paint over already painted pictures and the like (my poor heart) it’s tough but it’s good for them.
Forget the rules
You know those colouring pages they give at restaurants? My boy likes to turn those around and draw his own pictures, the first time he did that I was tempted to “show him the right way” but leaving him to do what he wanted resulted in his first “picture of me” .
Be open to new things
Toddlers/preschoolers are quite affected by how we react, if mommy/daddy seems to like this new project they would be more willing to try it out.
My parents are pretty creative people but I know they make mistakes, they never hid that – through them I learnt that it’s okay to mess up and that it is part of the fun to go from there and make something better than you imagined. I don’t hide messing up from Aidan – we have had many a good laugh about the fact that his mom can’t cut straight without a ruler.
Set up creative spaces
Sometimes all you need is some art supplies and a quiet corner, leave your child to it and see what they come up with.
Make it okay to be different
Encourage your child to be him/herself and not follow the crowd. Creatives are often outsiders and you as a parent need to show them that what makes them different is what makes them special.
Don’t micro-manage boredom
This one is tough because you want to make sure your child is happy and entertained, but in my experience…imagination grows in the “bored spaces”. Just the other day we went for a long drive and I cursed the fact that I didn’t bring a tablet for him to watch but within minutes he was staring out of the window pointing out clouds shaped like animals and doughnuts.
- See more from Eleanor at justellabella.co.za