Thursday, February 27, 2014

Getting Crafty with Kids: Sarah's Creations

Last night Sarah was busy at work creating. She walked into my office with such pride on her face and showed me clothes that she had made for her stuffed animals out of colorful construction paper. Apparently, she first tried to make a paper lantern and when that didn't work out she found another use for her creation and transformed it into something completely different.

Ironically, earlier in the day unbeknownst to Sarah, a young girl was featured in the news as being an intuitive designer using paper to make gowns, mimicking those from award shows worn by celebrities.

There is no coincidence here, but it's pretty cool.

It's amazing how our children can just put their mind to something and be untainted in their thinking when they put their mind to something they want to do. 

Sarah could have easily ripped up that piece of paper and started all over again from scratch. Instead, she chose not to waste the paper find another creative use for it.

I am so proud of Sarah in remembering the importance of recycling, which we often talk about, and that her active imagination churned out something fun and unique. She was so happy with her result and I couldn't help but be excited with her on her accomplishment.

Children have an ability to see things with such purity because they don't have too much experience with negativity and they aren't as impacted by the "coloring inside the lines" mentality at such a young age, unless guided otherwise. 

It is a joy to watch children and their thought processes. It reminds me of the times when Sarah was a baby and toddler exploring her way with arts and crafts with me trying to guide her.  I realized that as much as I wanted to control what she was doing, filling in the empty space that bothered me and not her, seeing in my mind what was right versus wrong, I had to let her find her own path and know that there is no right or wrong in art.

So long as no one gets hurt and the paint, markers and art supplies don't land on the furniture there is freedom in creation and we need to stand back and let our children explore and try without our sometimes judging influence.

As someone who enjoys arts and crafts, it makes me smile seeing Sarah develop and create innovations based on her visions and thinking. Sometimes she amazes me with what she comes up with. I think many times had I influenced her thought process what she would have come up with would have been completely different.  It's wonderful to witness the stirring inside her developing mind.

It's important to provide our children with the tools to learn and grow; however we must let them try on their own, as what they may create may be well beyond our sometimes tainted thoughts of what we think should and shouldn't be.

There is so much we want to control in this world. When it comes to our kids we just need to let them be free.  With that freedom comes fun and confidence.

I decided tonight to tell Sarah about the little girl that made the clothes with paper and also showed her some of the designs. She was intrigued and amazed.  Instantly she thought, "I want to try that," said Sarah. So, as I put the final touches on this blog post, she is now with paper in hand and tape galore creating away.  I can't wait to see what she makes all on her own.

Inspiration comes from all around us.  Let's continue to encourage and motivate our kids and expose them to the world around us to explore, and try, and fail, and have fun all on their own, with our support.