Book Club: Jennifer’s Pick05/10/2013
Expressing Our Family's Creativity
Getting Active by Jennifer Cooper
Being creative is something we take very seriously in our family. My husband and I believe it’s as important to encourage in our children as reading, writing, using good manners and being active. How do we do it?
Here are a five ways we express and nurture our creativity as a family:
1. We give everyone a camera. Documenting what you see through the lens can be a creative exercise. Plus, when you encourage your children to take pictures of what’s important to them, you’ll get a window into their world. One day over the winter, we gave each of the kids a disposable camera and asked them take pictures of their day. When we picked up the photos, the kids were able to discuss why they took each one. It was surprising to hear them talk about the way light looked and what each one thought made a funny or interesting picture.
2. We create holiday traditions of our own. Holidays can be overwhelming when you factor in extended family obligations. For us, there tends to be a lot of running from one side of the family to the other, leaving not much time for our little family to celebrate on our own. So we’ve created a tradition of having a holiday breakfast bar. On Thanksgiving and Easter, I lay out a buffet with a cereal, yogurt and waffle station. Then we all load up our plates and sit down together as a family. It’s a tiny little thing, but it’s all ours.
3. We tell stories. The kids love to hear stories about when my husband and I were little. They also love to hear stories from when they were babies. We share stories about trips we’ve taken in the past and ones we hope to take in the future. On special nights, my husband will make up stories about a fictional character he created for the kids, which often involves events from the day.
4. We encourage and support each other’s creative endeavors. When my daughter wanted to redesign her room, I brought out our decorating books and let her flip through the pages. When my son wanted to create figures out of twist ties, I grabbed him a couple extra from the produce section. I make sure the kids have access to plenty of raw materials (paper, scraps of wood, markers, paints, pipe cleaners, etc.) so they can create things when the mood strikes.
5. We dance. I may not be the best dancer in the world, but my kids don’t care. We crank up the music and goof around. We are free to express ourselves no matter how it looks. Which is good, considering my robot dance could use some work.
Get to Know Jennifer
Find out what keeps this mommy-on-the-go moving. Jennifer discusses...
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