Last week at Village Voices Kirsty set a challenge: share your top tip for staying creative. Here is mine:
Create with your kids
I know a lot of mums who prefer their kids to have their art and craft time at playgroup or preschool. I’ve been there myself. After all, it can be a tedious job directing a preschooler art and craft sessions and then cleaning up the mess…
Until you join in with and allow yourself to explore your own creative projects.
I used to dread craft time, now it’s my favourite thing in the world.
How can you focus on your own projects while creating with your kids?
When I am reading a book or doing a course which involves creative projects (which I seem to be doing all the time lately), I stop when I get to the actual project and save it for craft time. Or if I have something else in mind like crocheting a scarf or making a toy, I save that for craft time, too. I spend some time imagining what I want to my finished project to look like, but if I can’t think of anything before I start creating, I just let it unfold.
Once my kids say, “Let’s do some craft” – we do some craft. I tell them about my project and they may want to join in and create their own versions, or use some of the techniques that I’m using for their own projects, or do something completely different. Lately, most of my projects have been related to creating time and that’s not something my kids find interesting (they have all the time in the world and don’t worry about time the way we do). But when I was making my time storage box, they took to the idea of decorating boxes and turned their own boxes into robots and trains.
Isn’t it selfish to work on your own projects while you are supposed to be engaging with your children?
You are all together, creating together and enjoying yourselves. As you go, you will stop many times to help them and chat about what they are making. They are going to ask you about what you are making (and they usually ask me to make the same thing for them, so I come up with some simplified version that I can replicate quickly). You are connecting. You are allowing each other into your worlds. And you actually want to do craft with them! Kids sense it and appreciate it a lot more than when you feeling more like, ‘Oh, no, now I have to do craft and it’s so boring”. Plus sometimes children come up with amazing ideas that you can use in your project and in your life that would have never occured to you otherwise. So the short answer is no, it’s not selfish. It’s a win-win.
Sounds good but you are not sure where to start?
Here are some ebooks and courses I recommend:
(*Affiliate links. I’ve used and loved both of these products.)
Want more tips for staying creative? Find them at Village Voices!