Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More on Creativity

I've been thinking a lot lately about creativity. How there is a human need for it. How it brings me joy. And how broad a term creativity is. Lately my creative projects include sewing, decorating, cooking, baking. But those kind of things aren't the only way to be creative. I've been watching people parent and have been in awe of how creative they are.

(Blaine (with his pirate sash on) helping me glitter pinecones at Christmas time.)

Like last summer when my sister-in-law Rebecca and I were working on a sewing project and her son, Jack (4), wanted to use the sewing machine, too. She picked up a large scrap of fabric, set him next to her, and helped him make a little coin bag in about 3 minutes. Simple? Yes. Effective? Absolutely. Jack was delighted and ran around the house searching for pennies to put in his new blue bag.
(This is a picture of Jack scrubbing the kitchen floor like he saw in a book. Do you love it?!)

Another thing Rebecca does that I love is make "scavenger hunts" for kids. They look something like this:
1. Sing "Oh Susannah" on the front porch
2. Collect 6 bunches of lavender outside
3. Deliver the lavender to 6 neighbors
4. Do 10 jumping jacks
5. Collect 12 rocks
6. Run to the front of the house and ring the doorbell
7. Get your treasure! (Which might be a sweet or might be a pat on the back. Either way, they LOVE it.)
You should see all the cousins on these scavenger hunts. They have the time of their lives!

Another example. A few weeks ago the boys and I went to have a play date with my friend, Amy, and her kids. Cute little Haddie was in her princess dress, but couldn't get her tiara because it was in the room where little sis was sleeping. I watched Amy pick up two pieces of the plastic train track Blaine had been building with. She snapped the pieces together to make a circle, wrapped Haddie's pink blanket around it, and voila--a perfect crown and veil for the princess. Haddie was thrilled.

I am amazed at how creative people are. From painting to refurbishing to designing. From photos to food to haircuts. It is so amazing. I used to not think myself creative at all. Then, during an art-education class in college, I had to do some drawing and painting. And though I am not great at those things, I was astonished that I wasn't terrible at them, either. And for the first time in my life I felt creative. That creativity lent itself in the 2nd-grade-classroom many times. I was blown away by the great lesson ideas that would come to mind to teach certain things. (Divine help, undoubtedly.) After I stopped teaching, I no longer had a creative outlet, and I really struggled with that. It has been so exciting to dabble in a few things like cupcakes and aprons and flowers and mantels. And now I am working on more creative parenting ideas. (Got some? Please share!!)

Why all this thought about creativity? A lot of it came from listening to an address by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of the leaders of my LDS church. (Yes, I've linked to this before. If you haven't read it yet, now's your chance!) This video, highlighting the talk, is fabulous. (Here is the full text.)
Thought-altering. Inspiring. Life-changing. You will love it!


Christina said...

love the scavenger hunt idea.

The Ramptons said...

I loved this talk by Dieter Uchdorf, it really was empowering and inspiring. Thanks Anne for including me in the creative post. I blush to think that someone thinks that I am creative. Love ya.

jeanine said...

What a great talk by Pres. Uchtdorf! I'm always in awe of the creative things people come up with as well. My sister just started this blog of all the creative things she does with her daughter... servingpinklemonade.blogspot.com. She has some pretty fun ideas!

Vicky said...

I have really loved seeing the many blogs and posts about creativity that have popped up everywhere since Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. Doing creative things has been a great outlet for me since becoming a full-time mom, and I love getting ideas from you and many others.

Emily Anne said...

loved the talk. really made me feel that Elder Uchdorf was inspired/in tune with the RS sisters to speak about that subject. My testimony of creativity burns bright!

as far as creative/fun parenting ideas, I am always on the look-out for good ones, esp for energetic little boys who aren't captivated by fine-motor activities for long. There were some great ones on the site Jeanine linked to. One thing we're already excited about is a trip to the pet store in the next few weeks to see the baby bunnies (they always have lots at Easter time). We're hoping they might even let us hold them!
And something we did just this morning was "Freeze Dance". I just put on some crazy music and Henry danced and jumped around to it; when I pushed pause he had to freeze. He loved it. And burned a bit of energy in the process (I loved that :)

Marlo said...

Have you read The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule? It has a ton of great ideas for art projects, etc. Her blog is great as well. soulemama.typepad.com Also, blueyonder.typepad.com is doing a Book of Days that has activities for each month of the year for families. Just a few ideas. Fun fun fun

Toria said...

I've been thinking about this talk and the cool little video a lot lately and planning our enrichment around it. I love hopping on and reading your blog after I read about Emily and Claire. Hope you don't mind- you just have a way with words and motherhood and fun things- I enjoy it. Hi to all in Ashland!