{Parenting} Cultivating Creativity

Family Art Time | Kimberly Kalil Designs The best decision I've made as a parent is to cultivate a creative spirit in my children.

We make art. We make a lot of art. None of my supplies are off limits and my children are free to explore all forms of art and in ways that interest them the most.

Before you think "Oh she's a cool mom. She lets her kids play with paint and they make lots of crafts." I'm not really a cool mom. I'm a pretty uptight mom. I have lots of rules. I run a tight ship. I'm very organized and demand a high level of order and cleanliness. My house is never a mess ... absolutely everything has it's place (much to my husband's frustration). I never go to bed without doing a "sweep" of the house making sure everything is picked up (this also drives my husband nuts). Dishes don't sit in my sink for more than a few hours, and are almost done immediately after they are dirtied. I make our bed every morning. The list goes on and on. I readily admit I'm SERIOUSLY uptight. But that's what works for me and it actually makes me happy. I like order.

But there is one place I let loose. When I create, I get totally lost in my work and the mess. I have paint all over my hands and my work table. I've been known to get paint on the floor and walls (sorry Mike). And when the kids want to come in and play, I never say no. We paint and create together all the time. It's our "thing."

When Cooper was really little I'd strip him down to his diaper and he'd go to town on a large piece of cardboard. Now he likes to uses inks to make splatter art. Shelby loves acrylic paints and just finished a nine piece series featuring Minecraft character (it was her idea and she executed it all on her own).

Cultivating a sense of creativity is easier than you think. If you're willing to make an effort and step outside your comfort zone. Here are three tips to help you foster creativity in your home.

1. Explore you local art museum. We have a membership to our local art museum and often drop in for an hour or two each month. I let the kids lead the way and pick exhibits that interest them. All along the way we talk about what we're seeing, what we like and how we might do something similar. Our art museum has a free family event each month, which we love. Check the calendar at your museum and see what they have to offer.

2. Buy some "cheap" supplies and go to town. If you haven't invested a lot money in supplies then you won't feel bad playing with them. Try your dollar store or the dollar bin at places like Target or Wal-mart for supplies. They are reasonably priced and will allow you to explore lots of different artistic avenues.

 3. Use unconventional tools. We collect sticks on walks, rocks from our front yard, feathers from the park, save paper towel tubes, etc. ... and turn them all into tools for painting. It's cool to see what you can do with found objects and a little paint. Be willing to try anything. There aren't any rules when it comes to creating art. Just do what makes you happy and your children will enjoy their special creative time with you.


Do you have any tips to help cultivate creativity at home and with your children? I'd love to hear what you do with your kiddos.