So, I could have gone two ways with this post… either I am just about to write about how we shouldn’t tell children what they have created isn’t any good OR I am going to talk to you about how you can use rubbish to build creativity…
Yep, you guessed it!
First, let’s think about how you go about getting creative with your child. Maybe you’re a parent who always needs a guide, some instructions or photos and all the resources there in front of you, so you understandably buy kits for your child?
Or maybe you would like to do creative stuff but don’t have the money to spend out on those amazing resources your child would be interested in?
It seems that some of us think to encourage creativity, we need to offer sparkle and pazazz to get any kind of interest out of our child, and yes, that might be the case if you don’t haven’t yet developed a sense of curiosity or problem-solving in them, but let me remind you of something…
Remember your baby’s first or second (or even third!) Christmas, when you made a HUGE fuss, spent an ABSOLUTE fortune and generally spoilt the living daylights out of them (no judging here – I did it too! 😂)?
Remember that they liked your gift, but liked the BOX even more?!! To be honest, I don’t know a new parent who hasn’t shared this story with me, but seriously, it does tell you something. For all the glitter and glitz, it’s the stuff we can explore and create our own play with that really entices us when we are small.
As our children grow and materialism takes over, they want ‘stuff’ not boxes, and that is where we could allow creativity to lose its potency.
This is all an example, as I know plenty of children who still love a box as well as their gadgets and glittery things. All I’m trying to make you realise is that the basic materials are all you need to get creative. No money needed (apart from basic glue, sticky tape, scissors and pens). In fact the less you give, the more creative their thinking gets!
So, this week, I challenge you to collect suitable (clean) rubbish from the recycle bin. Pop it in box somewhere and use it for your child’s creative play. In fact, minimize what other things they can lay their hands on and you could stretch their thinking further!
Allow them to build, cut, colour and stick. Ask about their creations. What will it do? (machine) Who is it for? (building). Sometimes give them a starting point – could they make a star out of a paper tube? A car out of a cereal box?
Obviously, Christmas activities will be high on the agenda soon (!!), so making decorations, advent calendars or Nativity scenes could be a on the cards. Collect tubes, boxes and egg cartons. Older children can get crafty with clean (decorated) jars and punched tins (tealight holders).
There is so much opportunity with a bag of rubbish, you won’t be short of resources or creativity!
Still need inspiration? Our “Grow A Creative Child Academy” is the perfect place to find things to do. Built to support parents who struggle with creative ideas, the Academy offers monthly workshops and ‘shorts’ to inspire and build creative thinking.