7 Top Creative Ideas for Kids These Holidays

Encouraging creativity in children is about playingThe Power of Nurturing Creativity in Children

At a recent family reunion with cousins we use to spend Christmas with my mum blurted out how she remembered one year when I'd been really jealous about their daughter's barbie doll presents. I cringed, embarrassed that childhood jealousies would be brought up with a table full of family. Mum thought it funny.

Struggling to remember what happened all those years ago a mental picture of designer barbie furniture came to mind and the old feelings of envy came to the fore. My parents wouldn't buy doll houses and furniture for me as a kid, instead I had to make my own. From very early days, my sister and I would make our own dolls houses from shoe boxes, wall paper them with Christmas wrapping, make the furniture, sew the bedding and dresses for the dolls and even the curtains.

Playing and Making 

We spent hours making and figuring out our little doll houses during the long summer holidays.

Sitting at the restaurant table full of relatives I realised how clever my mum had been. While there had been times I longingly looked at the plastic molded mass produced dolls furniture I had hours and hours of joy and entertainment making my own. Figuring out how to use a shell I'd collected from the beach as the bathroom sink, getting two different coloured match heads for the taps and all set in some foam I'd scrounged from dad's workshop proved fun and creatively satisfying.

Now I realised mum was not only keeping her daughter entertained but also enabling creativity, lateral thinking, problem solving, design and sewing skills and all before the dolls got to move in and start their imaginary lives in their handcrafted dolls house.

By the time it came for me having barbies I was getting two tall book cases that had the height for barbie to move around in but would also turn into practical bookcases for my adult life. They are now full of art and history books.

Encouraging Natural Creativity

So how do you stimulate and facilitate the natural creativity kids have without it costing the earth? Taking a leaf out of my own mum's book encourage:

Making and Creating - find these beautiful porcelain bird jewelry designs online and at the Creatively Belle stall at The Rocks Markets

* imaginative play - ask about what the toys have been up, if they've enjoyed their adventures for the day, help setup a school for the toys or a cubby house made out of sheets and pillows around the furniture

* be the audience for their plays, concerts and shows

* dress ups and role playing

* drawing and painting - have some butcher paper or recycle paper from the office, site and draw with them, use different colours and have some play time

* read stories with them and make up stories together - listen to them just as much as they listen to you

* time out for daydreaming and making up stories

* making their own entertainment - their own toys and games

Growing From Experience

Remember to let them give things a go so they can learn from experience. Of course, keep them safe, but let them explore their imagination and creativity without unnecessary restrictions. Mistakes are part of growing and learning. If we're afraid of making mistakes we're afraid of giving things a go and then miss out on a heap of good things in life.

It's also more about the experience than the results. I'm sure some of my colour combinations with the Christmas paper covered walls and the fabrics for the beds and clothes would have clashed and been quite gaudy at times. I don't remember that. I remember the joy of making and creating.

Kids don't need the latest gadget with all the bells and whistles that does everything for them. They get much more fun and growth from a craft box of bits and bobs. I use to love going through mum's sewing box for pieces and slowly making my own up and I especially loved raiding dad's workshop where he made remote control airplanes. I ended up with my own hammer and tin of nails and screws. Now I have my own tool box, power tool set and sewing room (ok, it's also the spare room, that doubles up as storage but it does have an old table with a trusting sewing machine and I do quilt).

Making my own fun as a child saved my parents lots of money while being able to figure things out, make and design pieces now saves me a lot of money now I'm running my own household.

Encouraging creativity in children is one of the easiest things to do, even if you don't think you're creative yourself. It's all about play, giving things a go and being ready to laugh easily. And one of the best things about it all is you get to play and be creative yourself with the kids!





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