Five Mirrors in My House04/18/2013
Being Happy by Meagan Francis
When I was growing up, I never thought of myself as very creative. I wasn’t a great crafter or painter, and in my mind, those were the kinds of things that qualified as “creativity.”
But as an adult, I’ve come to realize that creativity can be many things. I know I’m a happier person when I flex my creative muscle, and I do that in so many different ways every single day. It’s important to me to nurture a sense of creativity in my kids, too, because I think it makes them happier people.
And the great thing is, anyone can be creative! The way I see it, re-telling a story about something that happened to you at school can be creative. Coming up with an original way to work a math problem can be creative. Hey, even snacking can be creative! (Check out the above photo of my son Owen making “art” from his Goldfish crackers!)
Here are three “everyday” ways my family likes to express ourselves creatively:
1. Re-imagined stories. My daughter Clara loves to hear familiar bedtime stories before she goes to bed at night. Well, sort of familiar: one of Clara’s favorite things is to take a well-loved story like “The Three Little Pigs” and put a fun twist on it. Sometimes this can get extremely silly – like the time she told me the story of “the three little armpits” – but I love watching her mind work as she puts her own spin on a familiar theme.
2. Singing while we work. My second-eldest son Isaac and I often sing together as we do the dishes. Often, it’s a song we make up as we go along – we pretend we’re living in a musical or an opera, over-dramatizing the crust build-up on a pan or choreographing a fork dance number. Isaac may never go on to compose a Broadway show, but he’s definitely got the creative chops to make dishwashing more fun!
3. Telling jokes at the dinner table. Since “what did you do today” talk can get stale, we often turn dinnertime into a joke-off. With two kids too young to come up with great punch lines, you can probably imagine how nonsensical a lot of our “dinner joke time” is, but I love watching the little ones work hard to figure out how to tell a funny story, and the older kids always laugh even when it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Does nurturing your creative side make you — and your kids — happier? What are some of the “everyday” ways you get creative with your family?
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