Articles : Working Moms: You don't need time to be creative!
Working Moms: You don’t need time to be creative!
By Sandy Gerber
As a working mom, I have been very stressed out with not being able to foster my children’s creativity in the tiny span of time we have together in the day. I leave before they are awake in the morning and due to a thick commute, I arrive home just as the nanny is placing the dinner on the table. After dinner is my favorite time of the day because that is the time I get to dedicate to my children.
I never have to source additional energy to play with them, as I am certain it is my favorite way to spend time. Funny thing, it usually is my pick for what game or toy we will adopt and since the kids are open to Mommy being the leader for playtime, I usually take that opportunity to promote creativity.
“Creativity is unleashed when it is recognized by a parent in all children's activities.” — Sandy Gerber
Forget about the quantity of time and focus on the space to be creative. Below are a few of the methods I use to promote a creative playground in our home and our life.
Mystery Tour Revealed
All you need to do is take action and leave your house. Thanks to my Dad, mystery tours have been extended to my children. The important thing about a mystery tour is the mystery. No one needs to know where the tour will end up. Take a walk, using a different route than normal and discover the unknown. Get in the car and drive to a place that is a mystery for you all. The best part of the tour is deciding what the mystery is and how it will unfold collectively. Everything can be a mystery, you just need to wonder.
Tip — My family mystery tours always end in an ice cream cone or snack of some sort!
What a Gong Show
It’s time to give the kids the gong and let them determine if your act is as good as you think. Pretend you are a turtle, pretend you are a cowboy, pretend you are Celine Dion, whatever you choose, give it your all! Your kids will decide if you should continue or if you should be kicked off the stage! Pass the gong around and see what they come up with for the show.
Get Dirty Walls
Tape some paper to the wall, roll up your sleeves and get painting! Mural painting is so much fun in a group setting and the end result is amazing. It is even better to allow the kids to paint right on the wall and continue adding to it as they come up with ideas. Look in the kitchen and the laundry room and you will be sure to find treasures to use for painting or sponging textures and shapes on the walls. This is an excellent way to teach kids to mix colours and to promote shades and hues of colour.
It’s A Humpledurk!
The object game is a fun way to perceive everyday objects as new objects (“humpledurk”) to foster your child’s imagination. Pick up a simple object to start, such as a button and ask the kids to tell you what the object could be. “It’s a pancake, it’s a tire, it’s a sun, it’s a squished donut, it's a humpledurk, etc.” There are no wrong answers in this game and it promotes a great start to brainstorming as a family.
What Goes Around, Comes Around
You liked the game “Twister” once, why wouldn’t they? Go through your old board games and puzzles and play them with your kids. I pulled out Twister and we ended up creating a new version of the game, which required each person to place an object on the colour dots when the spinner landed on the colour. This creative spin on the game promotes the colour education while at the same time opens up more imagination for a more enriched game.
Use your time away from your kids to develop new ideas to promote your children’s creativity. On the commute home, over lunch at your desk, even day dreaming in a meeting, turn your thoughts to the time when you were young and everywhere you looked there was possibility. You may need to look a little harder now, but it’s there waiting for you to experience it with your kids through their open eyes. •
© 2005 Sandy Gerber
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