Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a homeschoolers conference and share a bit about coaching an artistic heart in your kids.  As I prepared and gathered information on this subject, I realized it really was about creating a creative culture.  So today I’ve decided to share a few things I have learned and discovered along the way.

1. Creativity really starts with YOU!  Even if you think you are not creative, I beg to differ.  There is something inside of you that is creative in nature.  It may be buried deep down inside or perhaps it may look differently than you think.   The attitude you carry about yourself and what you can and cannot do speaks volumes to your children.  So I would say use your words wisely and don’t put yourself down or your creative abilities.  Rather, be willing to try new things and see what it is you like.

2. Incorporate a creative space in your home.  Find a space that is not tucked away in a dark corner, but somewhere with light and that would be inspiring.  As I am sure you already know, if you have little ones, they want to be where you are.  I personally have had to make a space in my kitchen and empty out a nearby closet for art supplies.

3. Have an art caddy full of your favourite art supplies.  Have these readily available and the kids will use them much more and you just might as well!  On my art caddy I have some things that are a must in our home (liquid watercolours, markers, oil pastels, glue, glitter, acrylic paint, watercolour paper, pencils and stamps).  DIVERSITY is great!

4. Invest in a sketchbook for you and your children.  Honestly, being able to just doodle for 10 minutes a day has made such a big impact in my creativity.  I also find that my children love to get their sketch books out and do the same.  Sometimes they will draw pictures from something they have just watched on TV or something that they see.  It’s a great way to encourage creativity throughout the day.

5. Speak to your kids about their artwork.  Don’t just assume you know what they are drawing or painting.  Instead ask them to tell you about their painting.  I also suggest that you be specific in saying what it is you like about their artwork.  If it’s the colours, or the lines they used, the uniqueness that they show in their drawing, then make sure to tell them.

6. Encourage their style.  I could do a whole other post on this topic alone.  For now I will just say to help them develop their style by seeing what it is they like about their art, looking at other artists work they like,  and daily doodling without any preconceived ideas about what they should draw. Encouraging their uniqueness.  Look for their personality traits in their creativity.

7. Take time as a family to create together.  The kids love this and you may find yourself smiling too! Do family drawings and paintings together where everyone adds their own flavour.  Pick a project that you could all do and even add storytelling or music into the mix.

8. Put out drawing prompts for your kids to get inspired (I did a post on this in the past).  Some ideas you could try are to glue googley eyes to paper and have them finish the picture,  place their toys out for them to sketch, start a picture and have them finish it,  or have an inspirational wall with inspiring pictures for them to incorporate in their drawings or paintings.

9. Create with the season you are in!  I love that we are approaching spring and summer because there are so many creative things you can do outside.  From creating a really colourful doodle garden, to gathering and painting sticks, painting stepping stones that tell a story, to making an imaginary land with cardboard boxes under a big tree. (hmmm this is topic to blog on more!)

10. Display your kids artwork!  Somewhere as we get older, we can lose that excitement of wanting everyone to see what we’ve just created.  As a kid, you can’t hang up your artwork fast enough.  As we get older that changes and we don’t want anyone to see what we just did.  I think that’s really sad. It’s all part of a journey and what you and your child create is an expression of you on that day and time.  So I say display!  Have things such as a wire to hang artwork on, frames, cork boards, a clipboard wall filled with artwork, or make some of the artwork into a journal for keepsakes to look back on.  I only wish I had a journal like that, that I could look back on and see what I had done as a little girl.  Celebrate the creativity!

So there are just a few things that you can do to create a culture of creativity. ! I hope you enjoy and happy creating!!!

Trish