Get creative with your kids

Several times a day, my daughter asks me, “can we do an art project?” so we end up spending a lot of time with paints, glitter and glue. But I noticed that while Peeper dove into creating each masterpiece without worrying about what it would be or how it would turn out, I hung back.

I didn’t know what to make. I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t feel moved to get creative with my kids.

When it came to arts and crafts with my daughter, I was fresh out of ideas.

Sound familiar? If you need a gentle nudge toward trying on a child’s uninhibited inspiration, too, here are some ideas to get creative with your kids—even if you’re not an artist.

Want to get creative with your kids but you're feeling uninspired? Here, tips to unleash your creativity! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

How to get creative with your kids

  1. Focus on the colors, not the form. Sometimes I stay stuck because I don’t know what to draw. But if I simply put colors on the page, I end up with something interesting. It may not be recognizable as any thing, but that’s kind of the point.
  2. Write it out. What quote is lighting a fire under you? What advice would you give your child? If you had to pick one word to define your life, what would it be? Paint that. And don’t worry about your crappy handwriting!
  3. Ask your kid. What does she want you to draw?
  4. Embrace stick figures—or blobs. You’re not an artist? Who cares. If we’re being honest, your munchkin is no Van Goh, either. When you get creative with your kids, no one cares that you can’t draw a straight line to save your life.
  5. Collaborate. Work on the same picture. You can make up a story about the scene you’re creating as you go along. 
    You don't have to be an artist to get creative with your kids! Drawing a picture together is just one way to dive in. Ten Thousand Hour Mama
    Peeper and I collaborated on this haunted house scene, which eventually turned into bats roasting marshmallows on a burning house. Go figure!


  6. Doodle. Let lines and loops unwind all over the page. Think of it as free association art.
  7. Plan to recycle it. When I sit down with peeper, I don’t expect to keep whatever I create. The expectation that my “art” will end up in the recycling bin takes off any pressure for my project to be “good.”Do you have any advice to get creative with your kids?

8 thoughts on “Get creative with your kids

    • October 3, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      Blobs are great because they can be anything!

  • September 29, 2016 at 9:05 am

    My boy have been MUCH more into drawing/coloring/painting lately since starting Kinder. I’m loving it. I didn’t really push art with my kids before since they were much more into other kinds of play (like legos, outdoor playing, etc.), but I’m finding it’s becoming an excellent way for them to express both what they’re learning about in school as well as an emotional outlet for their feelings. And since they’re gone now most of the day I find myself doing art WITH them much more than I did before they started school.

    • October 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      You always give me a glimpse into our future! That’s great your littles are using art as an outlet and way of processing what goes on at school. I wonder if that’ll help Peeper – she’s so tight-lipped about school, and she’s only 3!

  • September 29, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Both of my kids are pretty creative: one LOVES to draw, and will draw anywhere, at anytime, and the other is really into drawing as well but especially loves building and more 3D designs. When they were little, we used to sketch and color and build together almost every day, and I think that helped instill a practice within them and why they continue doing so now that they are older. Kids’ imaginations are the best!
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    • October 3, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      How cool that the three of you spent all that time together. Kiwi occasionally draws with us, but she eats the crayons more often than not, so art time with her is short-lived!

  • October 3, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I really appreciate this advice because art has never come naturally to me. I thrive when there’s structure so I prefer coloring/activity books, but I don’t want to hold my kids back from their creativity. This is an important reminder to just start creating something — it doesn’t have to be perfect so take the pressure off. This is great advice for writing, as well. 🙂

    • October 3, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      That’s a great point! It could apply to any creative pursuit, really. I love that when we do coloring books, Peeper doesn’t mind if I color the sky orange or the grass blue. Although sometimes she corrects me when I get the colors wrong on Paw Patrol pups!


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